A trip to Paris | February 2023

There’s a sun breaking through the cloudiest of my thoughts. At the start of this year it quickly became clear to me that I needed to prioritise my happiness above everything and I feel more myself than I have done in a couple of years.

Visiting Paris was definitely a turning point in both my happiness and inspiration. I have dreamed of Paris for years, being drawn to the city for no reason I could put a finger on, and yet it was everything I longed for. Not long after arriving I remarked at how comfortable I was in a strange place. We were so lucky with the weather; Paris was golden under the winter sun so despite the freezing temperatures, it was a delight to be outside for most of the day. I loved climbing the steps to Montmartre to find the artists dabbling in the square and the rewarding view of the city. I owe thanks to the waiter who allowed me to practice the peu de Français I know without judgement. Though it was a busy two and a half days full of walking and coffee and art, the exacerbated tiredness was healing. It felt like I was reclaiming a part of myself I’d had to set aside for a few years.

Of course my visit would not have been complete without a visit to Shakespeare and Company, which was every bit as magical as it promised to be. I had intended to commemorate my visit by purchasing a book and walked away with The Paris Bookseller by Kerri Maher, a charming story based on the true events of how Shakespeare and Company was formed. I hadn’t heard of this book before I found it but the timing was fitting so it was an easy choice.

Today I finished reading The Paris Bookseller and I could not be happier with my choice. By the end I was overcome with admiration for Sylvia Beach; how she stayed true to herself and poured her soul into having a simple, happy life, despite the challenges she was also faced with. Reading the story after visiting Paris was particularly special because I could imagine the scenes vividly. The sense of community Maher created within the characters and their mutual love of the arts which brought them together was heart-warming and definitely a dreamy scenario I would love to step into.

Isn’t it wonderful how with every book you read, you can open a new perspective on life? Following Sylvia’s journey has brought me a lot of peace and reassurance that life should be enjoyed, not endured. I hope to embody some of the excitement she brings to each stage of her life, as I continue my current pledge to stay true to myself and my passions.

It was also lovely to have my camera back in my hands to capture these (and many more) beautiful sights:

As opposed to when I first started writing this blog, I tend to be very forgetful in sharing the work I’m doing. It’s been a busy start to the year with both writing and book design projects and I’m hoping to share what I’ve been up to more thoroughly soon (and going forward). I always miss my blog when I’m away for too long! I look forward to writing here again very soon.

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