A month or so ago, my good friend Taylor was passing through Dallas and she crashed at my place for the night. It was so nice to see her and to get to spend time with someone I’ve known for so long—since lower school! As a graphic designer and photographer, she’s usually behind the camera, but the next time she’s in town for longer than a couple of hours, best believe that I’ll get her in front of one for a post (check her out here!).
While she was here, she said something kind of offhandedly: that she was surprised by how Parisian I’d become. I wasn’t sure what she meant, and didn’t want to push for compliments by pursuing the point, so I tucked it away and stored it for a blog post.
Apparently that’s an American thing, to be fascinated by Paris. Oh sure, the rest of the world is on board, but they also esteem California women and NYC women, at whom we don’t bat an eye.
The irony of it is,that I’ve always kind of wanted to be that woman. Distinctive, noticeable, striking. I tried for a long time to be her. Then I gave up and began curating a life I felt comfortable in. And I realized the things that brought me joy were the things that other people marked as special. Navy stripes and white flowers and fresh scents and old music. Meals of cheese and amazing bread, instead of grandiose spreads. Neutrals and natural green, books wherever I can fit them, neck scarves and playing hostess. Letting my hair just exist and always keeping tea and Dryck Bubbel fully stocked.
So if you just looked at these pictures, would you immediately think of the Seine, the Eiffel Tower, Champs Elysees? Probably not. Would the girl from these pictures be bicycling through Cannes, or wandering around Avignon, or sunning in Nice? Hardly. But these shots still make me smile and they make me proud, because there’s something distinct about them, something noteworthy.
I never would’ve thought I could invoke France in the middle of Texas, and I’m not certain I have. But if we look at the French woman and what she represents, well maybe I’ve tapped into a bit of that. Maybe we all can.