Bonjour! I have been back from Paris for over two months now and I miss it more with every day that passes me by. When people ask about my trip, it's difficult to find the words to recount all that I saw and the way I felt when surrounded by such beauty. It's not impossible; through my words and photographs, I am at least somewhat capable of recounting my trip on a superficial level. But how could I ever show the people interested in my experience the way I felt? How could someone understand the completeness I experienced when I was standing amongst a throng of Parisians on the cobblestone street with a delightful ice cream cone in my hand and my camera in the other. How could someone fathom the immense joy I derived from drinking wine on the patio of the flat we rented while watching the gems of the Eiffel Tower sparkle in the fading light. These moments were bittersweet because they were fleeting; and I knew that soon I'd be going back to America, the home that wasn't home. Often times - during conversations with my mother - I would jokingly ask "could you just leave me here?". She would laugh and comment on how she too dreaded the journey back but I don't think she knew that I meant every word I said. I wanted to stay. For this foreign place - this new and exciting city sprawling before me - felt more of a home than California did. I knew no one here, I spoke very little French, and I barely knew how to navigate around, but for the first time, I felt pure bliss. That bliss was derived from the fact that I was fulfilling a lifelong dream, that I was surrounded by originality and beauty, and that my being felt whole and was cohesive with my environment. How glorious it is to feel like you belong! At that moment, I realized that everyone should experience this. That everyone should search for the place that best reflects the person that lies within for it evokes creativity and the thrill that comes from being alive. In Paris, I felt so alive. Even though it was freezing and my limbs were often numb from all the rain, I felt human. I felt all my emotions so strongly and suddenly, I saw the world with clarity. Everything caught my eye and I would observe my surroundings with I always knew before I went to Paris that I'd find something incomprehensible; and I did.
I don't want to reveal too much too soon; I'm currently working on a booklet with a zine-esque layout about my trip to Paris. It'll include my photographs, reflections, and journal entries. But for now, here is a sneak preview of my time in Paris!