I am in my own personal happy place. As I sit in my fifth-floor hotel room, about the size of my office back home, the window is open and the sounds of Paris at night fill my room. This city turns a wonderous shade of pink as the sun sets, some form of sorcery that envelops the city and makes her an even more enchanting version of herself. It’s a fleeting spell and unless you pause to take it in, you’ll miss the magic. I’ve been blessed to notice it early on during one of my visits so I wait for this moment and take it in, trying to press pause on my consciousness while I absorb the beauty. I like to think Paris has the same effect on everyone. But I’m quite sure I’m biased.
I’ve long believed Paris is a captivating place and that everyone should visit at some time in their life. The streets whisper stories of days gone by, making it impossible to ignore the history, good and bad, that made this city what it is today. As I sit in cafés watching people go by, some obviously tourists, some clearly Parisians, I can’t help but imagine life in this same place decades, even centuries ago. Who passed along these same roads and what impact, if any, did this city have on them?
My place is Paris
For me, Paris is a rejuvenating force like no other. As soon as we emerged from the subway stairs when we arrived a few days ago, and I took in the streetscape and sounds of this place, I felt immediately relaxed and excited at the same time. Which brings me to my piece of advice for the day.
Find your Paris.
Find that one place in this world that brings you back to life and sheds light on the best of you and all you can achieve. Take the time to find the place that restores your creativity and ignites your spark; that gives you rest and winds you up. I don’t think for a moment that your place will be the same as mine but I am as sure of this as anything, you have that place. Your job is to find it and seek it out whenever you start to lose who you are or lose faith in what you can do.
Your place could be anywhere
Maybe your place is on a dock at a cottage, maybe it’s on a beach or in a city center. Maybe it’s in the middle of a forest or the top of a mountain. It doesn’t have to be across an ocean or even across the city you live in. It could be on a bench in the park you love most or underneath a tree on your street.
Wherever it is, trust me, you need to find it.
These past two years have been hard for everyone. For me, the pandemic chaos was multiplied by a move across the country to a town I had visited only once. You bet I picked it, I chose every step I made along that journey. But it doesn’t mean that it was an easy one. I miss my family and friends dearly. And although I love my new home, I still mourn the vibrancy of the life I led in Toronto. And it’s easy in times like these, when you are worn down or worn out, to lose sight of the greatness that lives inside of you. That’s why you need your place. It will call up in you what you may have forgotten was there all along.
I am, on this beautiful evening, in this enchanted city, feeling more blessed and grateful than I have in a long time. I know part of it is that I’ve just been so excited to actually travel again. But I know a big part is because my spirit has been revived.
My place does that for me. Find yours so you can do the same.