Last year, I nicknamed 2013 as “the year of courage”, and made a list of everything that frightened me. I faced as many of my fears as possible, and have experienced much freedom because of that. This year, I want to nickname 2014 “Dare me to fail”.
Paris. You probably want to hear about Paris. I have been wandering the streets for 5 days now. I have seen almost every major monument that every visitor is supposed to see, and many of the things on the lists you all gave me. And since I am traveling alone, there is a lot of time to think during all my walking. I sat in mass at Notre Dame, have people watched at the gardens of Tuliere, went on a river cruise along the Siene. I have had many interactions with people, some good, some bad. I have learned much about myself in these 5 days, and feel like my world at home is a million miles away. In my thinking, I have tried to remain as present as possible– drink it all in, enjoy the moment. But I have also taken some time to dream about the year, and to consider where I am at.
I am more terrified than ever this year. Fear is a great motivator, though, isn’t it? I can either succeed, or I can fail. But not trying means a life of regret, and that is one thing I am completely unwilling to settle for. The things I have been dreaming about are big. Impossible. Ridiculous. Most people would say “Yeah, but…” to my dreams. This is where I say, “Oh yeah? Dare me.”
Before leaving on my trip, I made a decision. I decided that I would never hold back from doing something if fear was the reasoning, either mine or someone else’s for me. As I have been here, some of those fears have come face to face with me. A bit of loneliness has accompanied me. A few sketchy situations (I’m fine, Mom, don’t freak out). I have to make the decision every day now, do I carry on as I have determined I would? Do I walk forward, learning from mistakes, taking experiences as my souveniers and sights as my treasures? Or do I give up, and return to the safe, the familiar, the easy?
This year’s goals include a whole lot of travel, several road trips, a few half marathons, working with my wonderful clients, following some new business ventures, and growing as an artist and storyteller. Of course, they are far more specific than that, but I won’t bore you with details. I will only specify that the dreams and goals are far beyond my comfort zone, and what I think I am capable of. They are way beyond my financial capabilities, and to most would look completely ridiculous. So this is where I say, “Oh yeah? DARE ME.” Someone dare me to fail.
And now, a few of my favorite Paris moments. I think I will write a whole post on that as I am leaving, since this is just a small fraction of photos:
Sunrise along the Siene. It was actually like 8:30am, nothing crazy early.
Sitting in Notre Dame and staring at the ceiling. It is a bit awe-inspiring.
Strolling along streets as they look like this:
Coming across this apartment building in the middle of the city, and the adorable old man who lived there:
Lots of cafe au lait. Although the milk here tastes funny… I remember the milk in Spain tasted funny too. Eh, who knows? Latin cows?
Lot’s of journaling. In random parks. It’s wonderful.
Sacre Couer at night. Oh. Wow. I am going back there tonight, because one visit was not enough.
Taking selfies in the apartments of Napolean I. Because that’s a classy thing to do.
Letting my jaw drop just a bit at how ornate every room was in his apartment. And then realizing that all this space was hardly even a fraction of the entire palace.