Paris Photo Diary:
Part II

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When I first got to Paris, I was absolutely terrified to sit at a cafe alone. After a few days of walking by some of the most adorable cafes I’ve seen in my life, I was able to convince myself that it would be ok, but only during the day. I wouldn’t dare dine at night alone. Eventually, I found a few “safe” sidewalk cafes that were away from the hustle and bustle of Paris life and therefore, nighttime appropriate for a party of one. Still, I stayed clear of the crowded, popular ones. Honestly, it’s not like I’m embarrassed or uncomfortable alone. I moved to Paris alone. I spent 95% of my time there alone. But still, there was something about sitting in a crowded public space reserved primarily for socializing that got the best of my anxiety. And so it was. Until my very last night in Paris, when I found myself back at one of my favorite cafes in Saint-Germain on a busy Sunday night in July, without even a book to keep me company. And there I sat and enjoyed my last Parisian burger (eaten with a fork and knife) and frites feeling nothing but proud of how far I’d come. I took thousands of pictures over the three months I was there. Going through them all the other night was emotional. I thought, I’ll go back next spring for maybe a month or two. But even so, I know it won’t be the same. Nothing will ever rival the experience I had. It was timing, everything. I’ll never be the same. So I can jump on planes chasing new adventures, which I will, and I know Paris and I will be reunited many times over, but the little love affair I experienced with it this summer will remain just that – tucked away somewhere special in my heart. Forever.

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From the Closet:
Marissa Webb

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Marissa Webb button down, One Teaspoon shorts, Tabitha Simmons heels, Peter & May Walk glasses

So here I am in another wardrobe staple – the white button down. Though Marissa Webb just killed it with this one! I love everything about her!

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From the Heart:
Mothers and Daughters and Fathers

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My mother’s father passed away when I was 5 years old. My memory of him is scattered and unclear. I spent my first five years abroad, so I didn’t have much time with him before he passed. I do, however, have a distinct memory of the day he passed. My mother came home after spending the day at the hospital by his bedside, told us the news, and then, went on with the daunting task of being a mother to four children under the age of 8, as if she didn’t just lose her father. Some time in the days after his death, she dropped by the pharmacy he owned with his twin brother. There was a purple and white wreath hanging on the door, and she stood by it, and started crying, as us kids sat in the car and watched, moved not by the loss of a grandfather we hardly knew, but by the sight of our mother grieving. It was the only time I ever saw her show any emotion over his passing. She was 33 years old – one year younger than the age I am today. And as life often unfolds in strange but coincidental ways, I’ve been going through a similar experience with my own father over the last few months.

I experienced my first loss last spring with the passing of my dearest grandmother. She was my everything – I spent more time with her than I spent with my own father. She was sick for a long time before she passed, and so we were able to emotionally prepare for losing her. The day she passed, I got a call from my mother while at work. I remember closing the door to my office, discretely shedding a few tears, and then, not unlike my mother when her father passed, continuing on with the daunting task of being a busy lawyer.

It’s difficult to put into words what I’ve been going through with my own father. I attempted a few months ago while in Paris, but ultimately felt emotionally unready, though I know someday I will be, and then the exercise will be if nothing else, therapeutic. Most days, I can go about life without even thinking about it. I don’t know if its appropriate to call it luck that I am far enough removed geographically that he isn’t an every minute weight on my mind. When I see him, it’s inexplicably hard. But not because I know I’m going to lose him, soon. It’s more a sadness of knowing he knows he is going to lose his life, soon.

I’m going to lose my father. It could be three months from now. But, also, it could be tomorrow. I am prepared to lose him, and for that reason, I feel a sense of relief of the emotional road before me. I am prepared to live the rest of my life without a father, though I am impossibly sad that I will never get to place my future son or daughter in his arms, and experience the joy and pleasure of seeing him with mine. But that’s it really. We didn’t have much time together in life at all. But you can’t measure love in terms of time. It’s not longitudinal. There was immeasurable depth in our moments together. And all the best parts of him live inside me. And that is something my children will know, even though they will never know him.

There’s still much I don’t understand about fathers and daughters, and probably never will. My experience wasn’t typical. But if you asked me about mothers and daughters, I could write a novel. This post is dedicated not to my father – that will come later – but to my mother. I understand now why she didn’t come home weeping the day she lost hers, why most of her loss must have manifested somewhere deep in her heart in a way that didn’t require an outward showing of emotion, why she could continue so effortlessly with the day to day task of living despite her loss, and why she accompanies me every time I go to the hospital to see him, as if she understands better than I understand myself, that while I am prepared to lose him, I can’t bear seeing him go, alone.

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From the Closet:
Desert Gypsy

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For Love & Lemons dress, Freebird booties, Luv AJ earrings

Years ago when I lived in San Diego, and was just starting out as an attorney, I was the designated Imperial County girl at my law firm, which essentially meant I got stuck with all the cases in El Centro – a two hour drive east of San Diego. Though most probably would have despised waking up at 5:30 a.m. to drive two hours to Court, only to make a five minute appearance, return to your car and make the two hour trek back to the office, I relished those early morning drives through the desert, rocking out to the Killers while watching the sunrise set its morning light across the vast expanse of nothingness. And while my El Centro days were well before this blog ever came to be, or was even imagined, I distinctly remember picking out locations along the way that I knew would be perfect for a photoshoot. Suffice it to say, it has been my dream to shoot in the desert for almost ever. Fast forward to this weekend – I decided to make my dream a reality – at Joshua Tree, a place I’ve been dying to visit for years now. As I drove past the entrance and into the National Park, I was so struck by the unending beauty that unfolded before me that I literally cried. And then, it dawned on me – all this time I’ve thought I was a beach girl -but I think this little gypsy soul kind of belongs in the desert.

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From the Closet:
Suede & Fringe Lovefest

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Iro dress, Isabel Marant booties, Free People necklace and bag, Acne sunnies

Bought this suede IRO dress in Paris this summer. Well actually bought the entire IRO collection in Paris this summer. Definitely my favorite French label.

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