The more I go to Paris, the more I think of it. This is unusual for me; not that I am as confident as Elizabeth Bennett that my first impression is always right, but I know my own tastes. I am open to the idea that I might misjudge someone or something, and to giving things another go, but in general I know what I want.
This confidence of character is important, I believe. If you don’t know your own heart, you are easily swept up in whatever comes along, without considering what will be the best for you. When I was 18, I thought I had everything I wanted figured out, but at 26 I know a lot more about myself and the things I value. I value the ability to change and be changed, while at the same time remaining true to my principles.
One of my principles is that just because something is popular doesn’t mean you have to like it. Another is that the museum-ification of cities is kind of gross. And so upon my first visit to Paris, I saw a beautiful city, but one I had already seen a million times, over-filtered and overpriced. It was undeniably beautiful, but it also seemed unreal and artificial.
But perhaps that what Paris has to offer: the romance of a dream, the impossible made possible, the real and unreal on every corner.
Perhaps my story of Paris is in opposition to the normal narrative; instead of love at first sight it was like that quote from a John Green novel: I fell in love slowly, then all at once. (Ugh, sorry.)
Oh, and I finally saw the Eiffel Tower. Only took me three visits!