Dreaming Of Paris
I’ve been dreaming a lot lately. As I mentioned before about finding my happy place whilst trapped in a weekend rut, life get’s busy. Deadlines come crashing down with the full weight of expectation, the daily grind seems mundane and life feels just a little bit too trivial. The outlook and forecast indicates too much routine and not enough adventure. It feels boxed in, planned out, and lacking in spontaneity.
I don’t know about you, but this escalates my anxiety to high alert level. I simply have too much I want to see and do and accomplish to be at ease with the concept of stagnating. Even if it is merely a product of my own perspective.
When this happens I always start dreaming again. The lure of faraway places and the prospect of yet to be discovered cities begin whispering temptations in my ear. Sometimes it’s to a little hideaway on a tropical island. There’s an open white sandy beach, a hammock swinging in the shade of a palm frond and a beach-side villa looking out onto the sparkling blue water. Other times, it’s to a green rustic cabin deep within the faraway woods in a destination like Tasmania or Canada. Mostly though, the call of a bustling city speaks to me.
The city of lights, otherwise known as Paris, calls to me in my dreams. Sometimes it’s dirty, sometimes cold, sometimes awash with colour and life and sometimes strange and intriguing. Though always familiar. The language delighting my ears, the people exciting, the views picturesque, the culture vibrant and intoxicating.
I’ve always felt a connection to Paris and the country of France. As a little girl I began to learn the language in school and from there the notion took off like wildflower. I guess you could say the culture had well and truly sunk its teeth into me. The voice in my head telling me that’s where you’ll go, that’s what you’ll do, that’s the place for you.
They say that Paris is the city of love. The city of romance, where couples go for a special weekend away, where partners travel to renew their vows, where young people decide that the language holds all the answers. And it’s true you know, the beauty of romance within the city.
In fact, I was in love each time I visited. Real heart wrenching, all-consuming love. Not with some gorgeous man in a béret and striped shirt in Montmartre, non pas du tout. Although I wouldn’t have minded one bit if that had have been the case!
Instead, I was in love with myself. I was in love with life and in love with the city around me and at the idea that I was there to revel in it. The cold stark bitterness of the long European winter, the sudden floral youth of Paris in bloom in the springtime, and the vibrant hustle and bustle of a city once again come alive for summer had seduced me.
Since then it has been a romance settled in for the long haul. The intrigue of a culture so fond and proud of itself, the forebears of cuisine as we know it, and the home of champagne, croissants, and Angelina’s chocolat chaud too good to pass up.
The clichés of a parisian lifestyle put a glint in my eye and a sticky note in my brain. I don’t ride a bike, but oh how I long to ride my rustic spindly bike along the banks of the Seine. I don’t make a habit of eating bread, but how I long to buy fresh crusty baguettes from the boulangerie as I pass by in the evenings. To rip off the butt and munch on it like the parisians do. I also don’t wear a lot of makeup or adorn my outfits with embellishments, but how I long to coat my lips in a sultry red lipstick, wrap a woolly scarf around my neck and add a tan duffel coat to saunter the 4th and 5th arrondissements.
Mostly though, I just want to live it. I want to use my french all day everyday, erasing my tacky Australian accent and to make use of the good knowledge I hold. I want to use it to have a grown up conversation instead of falling back on it to impress the new cute french waiter at my local café or to teach the kids to count to ten.
What I really want to do is jump on a plane en route to Paris, set up house in a quaint little apartment like Rachel Khoo in The Little Paris Kitchen and pretend that I too can share in an exotic lifestyle. I want to go to the artisanal markets and argue with the grumpy old man over the price of his olives, only to pay him full price, and to hang beautiful vibrant flowers off my balcony because my tiny apartment doesn’t get enough sunshine and warmth.
I want to escape my realities to those in my dreams. I want to reunite my heart with its love. I want to revamp the routine of life and make sure that no two days are the same, and that this girl shall not stagnate.
Until then I shall have to be content to retreat to my memories at the slightest mention of the word Paris, bringing a renewed glint to my eye at the suggestion and a faraway dreamy look to my face. Because if you ask me, Paris is always a good idea. And so I leave this as a gentle reminder for myself, and for you out there also grappling with a strong desire to uproot and jet off to a faraway yet to be discovered land:
Wait for me. We will meet again someday soon, I promise.
Paris, je t’aime. xo
Have you felt the call to pack a bag and travel off to a faraway land? What’s your “if only I could escape” destination? Have you been to Paris, did you like it? Did you fall in love?