“And then he said…welcome to Paris”

January 7, 2019

The goal here is not to be too mushy. But saying goodbye is hard. We’ve all heard it: “It’s not the place, it’s the people.” And that could not have been a more true statement for the end of my semester abroad. That and the color yellow. And 80s pop music. But those are other stories for another time.

What to say? Paris is beautiful, obviously, but I’ve had a whole 4 months to dig around and find the parts of it that fit…me, I guess. I spent a lot of my time trying to figure out how Paris worked, how I was going to approach it. Why I was even there. And then, after about two months of struggling, I kind of just…stopped. Basically, I let Paris happen, and then I was there, living in Paris. So, don’t try too hard to “figure it out.” I think that the best things happen when you least expect them, when you’re not looking for them. So, here are some things that I did not go looking for, but found anyway:

  1. The view from le Centre Pomidou on an afternoon when the rain had just stopped
  2. The 6–hands down the best ride in the whole of the Paris metro
  3. Ordering too many tartes at Le Loir dans La Théière
  4. The perfect cup of hot wine on a late night
  5. Seeing the full moon across the Seine
  6. A ridiculously beautiful sunset bathing Notre Dame
  7. The best dumplings in all of Paris, thank you Belleville.
  8. Tolling bells at Père-Lachaise
  9. A dance party under Pont Neuf
  10. The APA crew hiking Butte-aux-Cailles on our last night all together

Yeah. So not too mushy.

In a cab ride in Cork, Ireland, I heard a story with the most anticlimactic ending that will, ironically, be forever stuck in my brain. Sometimes endings aren’t what you expect, are not what you pictured. But maybe it’s because you just have to let them happen. You’ll always have a story to tell about it.

Merci pour tout et à bientôt

Aubrey

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