Friends to Last a Lifetime

Okay, so I have kind of a gushy post for everyone right now.. I’ve said before how I have the workd’s best friends ever and that will never change. Last year, my best girlfriends sent me a care package in Paris from the States to cure my homesickness and tell me how much they missed and loved me. It was absolutely wonderful and uplifting and I couldn’t believe they did something like that for little ole’ me. They’re truly the best.

And now anyone who knows me, knows that I love my birthday. Like love love love it. I typically tend to celebrate my birthday for at least half of October with my various groups of loved ones in my life.. Yes, I’m that girl. It’s not like I shove it in people’s faces, I just love my birthday and love spending it with the people I care about. And this year was wonderful hanging out with my family all weekend – especially with being away from them for it last year while in Paris.

So, remember how I said I have the best of friends? Well, they’re from all around the world and my best friends from Paris just sent me birthday presents from abroad!

   

Seriously, I love these girls so much.. I’m so shocked that they thought to do something like this for me and I couldn’t be happier that God blessed my life with such beautiful souls.

When I say I have the world’s best friends, I truly mean it. 

   

How Paris Changed My Life

I remember the first time I thought about it.

I remember thinking, “This is crazy.. I’d never actually do it..”

And then I remember realizing that actually nothing made more sense to me than moving to Paris.

After just one year, my time in Paris has changed me. I’ve grown into a completely different being. I’m more me than I’ve ever been and I’ve never felt such an intense longing to stay put somewhere.

After this short year away, Paris has become my home. She’s a constant in my life that I’ve never known before. She’s the love I’ve never had before. She’s the embodiment of who I am as a person now.

After all of the tears, laughs, picnics, strolls, complaints and wine glasses I’ve gone through this year, I can confidently say that it’s been the best of my life. Paris has opened up my horizons and filled my heart. She made me realize more than ever before that travel is in my soul; it’s the essence of my spirit. I’ll never stop until I’ve seen all that’s humanly possible on this magnificent earth that God created for us. It’s within me now, as is Paris.

Though I adore this city and have seriously contemplated staying, there were times when I wanted nothing more than to go home and be in the presence of my family again. In this year I’ve never felt so completely whole and so entirely split in two before. And as I sit here in my room for the last night, I don’t have a choice than to return to the wondrous love of the family I have waiting back home.

Yes, Paris is a part of who I am today. I’ve changed in ways I’d never anticipated before and have grown into a different woman because of her.. But for now it’s time to say goodbye.

To say goodbye to the family of friends I’ve created for myself here. 

    
    
   
To say goodbye to the city that drastically changed my life.

To say goodbye to my home. 

 

Trois Souvenirs de ma Jeunesse/My Golden Years

Today I did something I’ve never done before: I saw a film at the theater all by myself.

For weeks now ever since I saw the trailer for Trois Souvenirs de ma Jeunesse/My Golden Years, I’ve been dying to see it. But to my dismay, every time I wanted to go, everyone was busy. So, I was left with a choice: don’t go OR go alone. I chose go alone. And maaaaan, am I glad I did.

This film was the first French film I’ve seen since living in Paris, which is very disappointing, I know. But it is.

I caught an early showing and walked into the cinema. It was so early that sadly the concession stand wasn’t even open; I was soooo looking forward to some salty popcorn and a refreshing Orangina but never mind. These things happen; you move on.. Without your pop and popcorn.. Humph..

Anyway, I purchased my ticket at the deserted kiosk and walked my lone self up to the ticket tearer guy and then headed to my film. Already proud of my decision, I pushed through the big doors with a grand smile expecting to enter an empty room.. But to my delight, there were at least five other Parisians there to view the film with me! All on their own, I might add.. Not a single person was accompanied by another. Maybe there’s something to be said for people who go to movies super early in the morning by themselves.. But never mind that!

So, the movie started and already I was overjoyed. As I sat in the theater, happily engaged in the film, I realized that this is definitely going to be an insanely French film – asides, melancholy music and lot of “openness” (if you get what I mean).

Anyway, this film (which I researched beforehand so as to be especially prepared for my first French film viewing in Paris) is the prequel to Arnaud Desplechin’s 1996 “Comment Je Me Suis Disputé (Ma Vie Sexuelle)/My Sex Life…Or How I Got Into An Argument.” Now I’ve never seen the former but that didn’t detract from my experience with the latter in any sense. It tells the tale of a boy’s childhood through three memories and delves into how those experiences affected who he is as an adult.

He gets into trouble and falls in love.

He explores the world and breaks his own heart.

Full of raw emotion and organic love, the story is brought to life through talented newcomers Quentin Dolmaire and Lou Roy-Lecollinet. Seriously these two are wonderful. I truly felt the love of Paul and Esther, yet understood their betrayal and yearned for them to be together throughout the whole thing.

It doesn’t hurt that Quentin is pretty easy on the eyes..

But seriously, they had me watching their every move for the full two hours.

Throughout the whole of the film, I found myself growing more and more attached to Paul and then it hit me why – he’s me. Well, in one sense; he’s a wanderer. He aches to know the world and just wants to see the sun rise over a new horizon. I was proud and altogether distraught every time Paul left Esther and his familiarity, even when she begged him to stay – because I feel his yearning to go. I grew closer and closer to him.. Until the end.

I won’t spoil it for anyone, but the ending was so entirely saddening that I was left in disarray. In the end I realized I’m not Paul, that the only love that dictates my life is that of my family. I will never be Paul, can never be Paul.

I left the theater in a different kind of happiness than when I went in.. Filled with happiness of a story I was able to witness, whether it be finished or not.

This tragic French love story was definitely the best pick I could have made for my first solo theater experience.

Now, everyone go see it.

Sleeping Beauty

As the wind lightly rustled the daisies, I lay still taking in the serenity of the forest. Bois de Vincennes was bathed in sunlight and so was I.

I always love getting out of the city and embracing my true self in the wilderness; yesterday and today were no exceptions. Bois de Vincennes and Bois de Boulogne offered complete peace and tranquility these past two days and I feel reawakened to the beauty God created in this world.

I spent the whole of yesterday afternoon lounging and napping in a field of daisies listening to a ukulele band while reading my current novel – “Wild.” 

 Throw in a picnic and some sunbathing with friends and you’ve got a recipe for the perfect Disney plot line.. Not to mention that the castle inspiration for Disney’s Sleeping Beauty came from France – I guess what I’m saying is that fairy tales are possible.

But the fairy tale didn’t end yesterday. Bois de Boulogne was just as surreal today. The girls and I rented a row boat and floated across the water talking to ducklings and gazing at swans. Again, add a picnic and some sunshine and the world starts to slow down. 

 However, the fairy tale still didn’t end. As I watch the sun go down from my apartment window, I’m completely content in my life. This fairy tale won’t end today or tomorrow but will continue on through the entirety of my life.

Spring Break – Alternative Style

10150592_2565730701303_84968902_nToday marks the beginning of my last spring break in life and I couldn’t be more excited. Instead of going to a beach somewhere, I chose to spend my break volunteering somewhere in the country to better the lives of those in need. The past few months have been spent preparing and planning for this day and I’m so happy that it’s finally here. In a few hours I’ll be heading off to Fort Campbell, KY to participate in an art program for little kiddos on the military base. I love kids and can’t wait to meet them and spend the week having awesome Dr. Seuss-ian fun!

My wonderful group that I’ll be going with decided on the theme of “Oh, the Places You’ll Go” for the week and each day will be a different destination for the kids to have fun with. For instance, Dino Day is on Tuesday so we’ll be traveling back to the prehistoric times with T-Rex tag and archaeological digs. The entire week will be filled with this kind of awesome fun.

I’m so thrilled to have an entire week to spend getting to know some spectacular, selfless humans who will be on this trip with me. It’s people like them who the world needs more of. I don’t know everyone very well yet but can already tell that they’ll become my best friends by the time this trip is over.

So, here’s to a week full of laughter, games and love!

Becoming Humbled

Happy thoughts of a humbled girl.

Well, I finally have a moment to myself to relax and think about things. Since summer began, I’ve been working full-time, doing a part-time internship and trying to spend as much time as possible with my family and friends. So far, all is successful; got my first paycheck today, I’m loving my internship and I’m currently sitting with my entire family watching Wall-E.. So, I’d say I’ve got it all covered. Life is good.

Recently, I’ve been so incredibly happy. It’s ridiculous. I can’t wipe the smile off my face and I love infecting those around me with happiness. It’s like nothing can get me down and I love it. Everything in my life is coming together and I’m enjoying every second. I’m preparing for my future in a way I’ve never done before by adding another major – theatre, which is my absolute passion that gives me so much joy and excitement when I’m involved in it, I’m always happy and trying to help those around me – I’m no longer judgmental or critical of those around me like so many girls in this world tend to be (and how I was earlier in life, sad to say) and I’m so much looking forward to what God has in store for me. Seriously, I get tingly and butterflies when I think about what He has planned for my life and what path He has laid before me. I want to live my life for Him to those around me and I hope that I positively impact those around me, showing them the amazing grace and love that He has for them. Gah, I’m just so happy.

My life is amazing right now. I’m moving toward my future and can’t wait to live my life for the Lord and expand on what He has planned for me. After I graduate from Mizzou, I plan to move out to L.A. to pursue my dream of becoming an actor. This isn’t just a dream, it’s a passion and life goal that I WILL accomplish. Nothing less is acceptable. God has so many amazing plans for me and I’m ready to get them started.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11