Dear Campus Journal,
Getting to Paris was an odd experience. I expected to settle in and find my footing sans probleme, after all I was Cool and International and had already made a Big Move from one country to the other. But when I got here, I felt lost and on my own in a way I’ve never needed to when at Swarthmore. The Eiffel Tower was lonely. The Sacre Coeur was lonely. The Notre Dame was lonely. I realized I’d only ever seen photos of these iconic beauties when some form of light was playing off it, with blue skies and either fluffy white clouds or none at all. Gothic architecture in the dark is beautiful but also quite forlorn.
I will admit, while I was excited to be here, I initially didn’t quite get it. This Paris thing. This City of Lights thing. This City of Love thing.
But today, after spending time in my neighbourhood as opposed to venturing out to places I was told I “needed” to see, I almost skipped home in amazement at how much beauty I had seen in just two hours. And then I saw more of that very specific, very Parisian beauty during the rest of the day.
I still don’t think I get it in the way it has been romanticized by people. I don’t think I get the Paris that I’m supposed to get. The City of Lights Paris. The City of Love Paris. The Idealized City Paris.
But, I think I’ve done one better; I found My Paris. And I fell in love with her today.