“The best day of your life is the one on which you decide your life is your own. No apologies or excuses. No one to lean on, rely on, or blame. The gift is yours – it is an amazing journey – and you alone are responsible for the quality of it. This is the day your life really begins.” -Bob Moawad
So, I have decided to move to Paris.
Last week marked my three year anniversary with New York City. It has been a tumultuous love affair…potentially more dramatic than any human relationship I have ever had. Well, maybe – I suppose that one’s debatable. When I give my heart and soul to someone or something it does tend to consume me, to an extent. For this I am not sorry, nor do I have regrets.
That said, I realized that it is time for me to do something big on my own, based solely on my personal needs and desires.
I am grateful beyond words for the time I spent here in New York, the incredible people I’ve met, and even all of the challenges that were thrown in my face along the way. I am proud of the person I have become, and excited for the person I see myself one day becoming as a result of the lessons I’ve learned here and the many ways in which this city has transformed me.
I used to be a creature of routine. A girl who would wake up on a Monday and know what the entire week would entail. My life was comfortable. Until it wasn’t…
When I moved here in February of 2012, I came with a boyfriend I had devoted six years of my life to, and a little puppy dog who was basically my everything. I lost them both. I worked full-time in the fashion industry and got battered, broken and bruised. I was thrown into a world of solitude that I was completely unequipped for. A weak little girl, across the country from friends and family, trying to navigate my way through what then seemed like the scariest place on earth. I was alone for the first time in my life…ever. I cried and felt sorry for myself for months.
And then, one day, I opened my eyes to the fact that I am so fucking lucky. I finally saw things for what they actually were, and made a choice to wake up from my self-induced nightmare. I wasn’t alone, I was free. Work was intimidating and strenuous, but I had a job. Sure the city was scary, but I was living in New York — something I had always wanted! What I was experiencing at the time is just a part of growing up and, compared to many, I actually had very little to complain about.
Sure, it took time, tears, breakdowns, self-medication through alcohol, meaningless flings aplenty and coming pretty close to hitting rock bottom before I was able to see things differently. But I didn’t hit rock bottom. I dug my nails into the wall and started to climb my way back up. I do remain a big fan of crying (I find it to be a lovely release), but feeling sorry for myself was no longer an option.
I learned that I am not, at my core, a creature of routine. I need to be light and free. I need excitement and adventure, and I had every tool necessary to make a change right there at my fingertips.
I learned to embrace the unexpected, and roll with the punches. I learned to stand back up after being beat the fuck down. These are qualities I only could have acquired through living in this harsh, beautiful city. A city that many of my loved ones begged me to give up on. But I am not a quitter. Thank you for that too, New York.
But, so it goes…an irresistible opportunity came knocking and, well, why not try out Paris for a while? I have no full-time job that I’m obsessed with, no husband, no children. I am finally light and free.
In two months I will be saying “goodbye, for now” to this special place, and embarking on another adventure. And I can finally do so knowing just how much I have actually grown and accomplished in the past three years, with too many great memories to count and an extraordinary “friend family” that I am beyond grateful to have found.
So here’s to taking risks, and living life on your own terms! Here’s to new beginnings…or, as the French would say, a mon nouveau départ.
*wearing the Balsa Caped Gown by Atelier Gabriella Daher
Photographed by Lance Skundrich at the Clift Hotel