a paris moment.

When I dream about my future and the way I’d like it to unfold I often find myself dreaming about large, milestone moments – university graduations, feelings actualized with first kisses and perhaps later, vows, my perfect career brought to life in the form of some ideal job, and the birth of the children I’ll one day have. I think this is true of many of us. We try to plan our lives in terms of these major achievements, rather than considering what the multitude of less momentous but blissful moments that fill the spaces in between will look like. But, when I find myself dissatisfied with the present and feeling nostalgic about the past, it’s often those quieter, unexpected moments I didn’t plan for that I want to go back to and inhabit.

Sitting at my desk last week, with the sun beaming in and no chance for escape to go out and join it, I felt myself being drawn into the past, back to last spring, back to Paris. When I booked my brief trip the city of love I planned it out in terms of monuments to see, museums to visit, grand adventures to have. Yet it wasn’t any of these experiences that I felt myself yearning for. If I could have found myself magically transported from the present moment and into any other, it would be to this quiet moment at a sidewalk café near the base of Montmartre.

In this moment, I’m new to Paris. My adventure is just beginning. Soon I’ll be wandering in the footsteps of Amelie and finding new and unexpected treasures around every corner. Within the hour I’ll be proposed to for the second time in two weeks, a young man will have written me a poem on his typewriter, and I’ll be offered flowers and wine by beautiful strangers. Before the sun sets I’ll have seen the entire city sprawled out in front of me as I drink beer with friends I haven’t met yet on the steps of the Sacre Coeur.

But, in this moment, none of that exists. In this moment it’s just me, sitting with the Paris sun beaming down as I quietly daydream about who else has  traversed these cobblestones and slowly sip on the best cappuccino to have ever passed my lips; in this moment nothing else exists but this, and a whole world of possibilities.

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