Zara vest, shirt, and bag, One Teaspoon shorts, Nike sneakers (from J Crew), Ray-Ban sunnies
I acquired these Nike sneakers from J Crew last fall and as is often the case with my shoe closet, they got lost in the shuffle and I only just re-discovered them — which is sometimes the best way to enjoy a pair of shoes! Now that I’m in Paris they will inevitably be in constant rotation as I’ve committed to walking everywhere since I’m without my beloved Equinox gym membership and twice weekly Pilates Platinum sessions.
The week after I gave my notice at work, my boss came into my office to talk about my future. I told him I was leaving because my heart wasn’t in it anymore and that I was moving to Paris for three months to read and write and do all the things I didn’t have time to do for the nine years I spent being a lawyer. He offered me his best wishes and left my office exclaiming, “I wish I could quit my job and move to Paris.” And as he shut my door, I whispered under my breath, “Well why the hell don’t you then?” Of all the people I despise in the world, the ones I despise the most are those who sit around complaining about their lives but do nothing to change them. Worse, are those who sit around complaining about their lives but do nothing to change them, and then resent those who don’t sit around complaining about their lives, but instead do something to change them.
Last week, I arrived in Paris with a suitcase full of books – Cheryl Strayed’s “Tiny Beautiful Things” was a natural first choice because I wanted to start out my journey with a little inspiration. And inspiration it has provided. There is one chapter in the book where Strayed offers advice to a young girl who feels overwhelmed by her college student loans and her family’s refusal to continue to support her or assist her with her debt. The girl writes that she believes she is now being “defined by her student loan identity.” She asks Strayed for her perspective. In response, Strayed tells the girl to stop feeling sorry for herself and that “nobody’s going to do your life for you. You have to do it yourself, whether you’re rich or poor, out of money or raking it in, the beneficiary of ridiculous fortune or terrible injustice. And you have to do it no matter what is true. No matter what is hard. No matter what unjust, sad, sucky things have befallen you. Self-pity is a dead-end road. You make the choice to drive down it. It’s up to you to decide to stay parked there or to turn around and drive out.” Later Strayed proclaims, “You don’t have a right to the cards you believe you should have been dealt. You have an obligation to play the hell out of the ones you’re holding.”
This morning, before the city became littered with tourists, before even the native Parisians were on their way to work, I went on my first run in Paris. I ran along the Seine, crossed the bridge to the Louvre, and then through the Jardin des Tuileres. To have the city to myself, to see it almost deserted, was nothing short of magnificent. On the way back to my tiny apartment on Boulevard Saint-Germain, I couldn’t contain the joy of what I had just experienced. I thought to myself, “How did I get so lucky?” And then I remembered Strayed and reminded myself that luck has nothing to do with it – I’m here because I decided to own my life and play the shit out of the cards I’m holding. And that has not been easy, trust me. But it has been every bit worth it.Read More
Independence is often lauded as a great virtue, which it can be, until one day it dips into loneliness and then really the two combined become a self fulfilling prophecy where the more independent you become, the harder it is to let someone into your world, so you become lonely, even though you desperately want to let someone into your world to cure the loneliness. I’ve been independent in the spirit sense most of my life – I’m a loner by nature, and also, sort of a perfectionist in the way that makes doing things by myself and on my own a natural choice. I’ve been independent in a broader sense in the last 4 years because I’ve been single and living on my own. Being single is a whole new beast of independence – when my “check coolant” light comes on in my car, I’ve got to figure it out on my own; when I’m cooking dinner and I can’t open a jar, I’ve got to forfeit that portion of the meal; and when my washer/dryer unit somehow becomes totally displaced and I don’t have the strength to push it back to its proper position, I’ve got to live with a displaced washer/dryer unit. These things are annoying, but tolerable. What has become intolerable though is the lack of togetherness that is separate and apart from convenience. This type of loneliness has been most evident to me in times of sickness. Unfortunately, I’ve been sick now for the last month, so there it has been, underlying almost everything, reminding me that there is a better way to live and it’s not alone. It started with a surgery – my best friend was kind enough to drive me to the surgery center but the moment the nurse took me back to the pre-op section and I walked past families and then into my little curtained off section where I would lay alone for 2 hours, I was unexpectedly struck by on an onslaught of tears. Mostly of sadness and disappointment – I didn’t imagine being 33 and having to go through these things alone without someone to hold my hand and kiss my forehead and make me feel not alone. A week later I found myself in an Uber on the way to the ER and later admitted to the hospital where I spent the night and the next day alone, terrified, but mostly sad about my loneliness. Most recently, this week, I caught the flu the day before I left for Paris. I had a list of about 30 things I had to get done before leaving. Suffice it to say, most didn’t. By some miracle though I managed to make it to the airport, with every flu symptom
at it’s absolute worst. For the first 7 of 10 hours on my flight I sat covered in about four airplane blankets, with the chills, on the verge of tears at the pain I was experiencing, yet trying to remain incognito so as not to disturb those around me. I bought a blanket at the airport that I literally put over my head to trap the heat because I was so cold. I hid under the blanket and cried intermittently, telling myself it was going to be ok, I was going to be alright if I just made it through the flight. Mind over matter, blah, blah, blah. Every time I got up to use the lavatory, I considered what would happen if I fainted on my way there or worse, when I was locked in the tiny compartment. I was too weak to pick a movie, to concentrate on a movie, but in too much pain to sleep. So I sat staring at the airplane flight map which was most disheartening. What felt like at least 20 minutes of my life appeared on the screen as a mere 2 minute gain on our destination. What I dreaded most though, was what would happen after we landed when I was really on my own. I knew the flat I rented required a one story ascent on stairs. While in the taxi from the airport, I mentally prepared by replaying the scene in Wild where Cheryl Strayed struggles at the beginning of her hike to get her overweight backpack on her back. It took every last bit of my strength to lug three heavy suitcases up an extremely narrow and curved staircase to my unit. My head was burning and I could feel every muscle in my dehydrated little body wanting to collapse. Once inside, I literally found a bed and crashed. I’m here now in Paris, sick and not exactly sure what is causing it or when I’ll be better. But over the last 48 hours of my life, one thought has resonated in my mind: I can’t do this anymore. I can’t be alone anymore. I’m strong, but I’m not that strong. I’m 120 pounds fragile, with tiny little bones and physically, it’s too demanding. I don’t expect someone to carry my weight, but to have had someone to hold my hand on the plane, let me rest my head on their shoulder, make sure I was getting enough hydration, handle my luggage – these small things would have made the world of difference. I don’t know when I got it in my head that I could do everything by myself and that it was essential to be strong and not need someone else, but it needs to get out. So first and foremost, before I figure out life, my next career move, where I’ll end up after Paris, I’ve got to kick this alone thing.
Rag & Bone jeans, Zara blazer and vest, Witchery tank, Givenchy necklace, Gucci bag, Dior sunnies
This pair of jeans fell in love with me during one of my weekly shopping adventures on Robertson Blvd. Sometimes I really wish clothes would just stop doing that! It’s like I set out minding my own business and then all of a sudden I see him checking me out – all sexy, tattered, rough around the edges, just the way I like them. He calls himself “Thrasher.” Who can resist a stunner with such a fabulous name? So then of course, I rationalize that there won’t be any harm in just trying him on. But one thing always leads to another and before I know it, we are in my car on the way to a little intimate place I like to call my closet. Still, even then I’m telling myself that he can spend the night, but he is absolutely going home in the morning. And clearly, he is in love, who wouldn’t be? But then you know what always happens? The minute we cross the threshold into my home, I’m halfway in love too. And then it’s madness. We are making regular appearances at all the hottest places in town, me in my classic Zara sandals and him tightly hugging my hips and waist. Always so possessive he is! He likes to remind everyone that I am his and he is mine. And I don’t mind, because like I said, it wasn’t intentional on my part – he is the one who had to go fall in love with me first! I’m charitable, you know, I just returned the favor!
Zara sweater and heels, One Teaspoon shorts, Gucci bag
Rarely, if ever, do I find fringe offensive. I like it on everything, and this Zara sweater did not disappoint with little fringe like ponytails hanging from just about everywhere. It’s a little bit boho, a little bit Southwestern, a lot my scene.Read More