Paris 2010 has been a mantra for me since 2005. In that year I turned 35 (yes, the big 4-0 is merely a few days away), and although I hadn't yet been given the book "5", I challenged myself to think - "where will I be 5 years from today?" And as I sat at my desk my two biggest fascinations of chocolate and travel surrounded me in the form of books, postcards, maps on the wall, design, boxes of research, trinkets, photographs - an immediate answer came to me, P A R I S . I didn't really know how or why I would be there in 2010, but the idea resonated deeply within me. I told my friends and family. I got a call from my best friend - do you KNOW how much apartments COST in Paris????
No, I didn't.
And I really didn't care.
All that mattered was having this idea. And it stuck. And life just happened. And Paris 2010 turned into a reality for me, although in a way I couldn't of imagined it would. I didn't sit down and make spreadsheets, calculating and planning every step of the way. On the contrary, I just lived my life. I tried to do things that felt right to me, decisions about how I spent my time and my money, who I was with, and what interest I was focused on. Making a strict plan wouldn't have worked for me. I'm just not that way. Instead what happened I could not have planned for. A little wine with girlfriends last August turned into 5 girls with the determination to run the Paris Marathon in April 2010. Never been mentioned before, never had the inclination to do it, and at the time my life was totally up in the air. But it clicked, it clicked big time. And the meaning of Paris 2010 that I held in my mind all that time became something real and happy and good.
I just got the book Click, the magic of instant connections, by Ori and Rom Brafman. Recommend it if you are interested in how these "click" moments happen, and in grasping just how little we can predict what path our life will take because of them (I'd also say try reading The Black Swan for more on that).
Do what you love.
Do what feels right.
Things will fall into place.
(I'm a d-e-s-t-i-n-o sort of gal, if any of you remember one of the opening scenes from the greatest Robert Downey Jr/ Marisa Tomei movie Only You?)
For me things fell into place (coincidentally?) while in Paris for the marathon - I got the job offer that would allow me to move back to Austin, and be in a role at a fabulous company totally suited to my life and the way I live it. Click.
SO WHAT'S YOUR XXXX 2015??? I've decided on mine, but I'm not sure I'll tell - yet.....
PS - Thank you Stephie, for being my greatest supporter and friend. And to my other best girls - Rebecca the non-marathoner, and my partners in making it through the 6-7 months of training, the race, and all the emotional life before that - Brett, Heather, and Erin. Love you all.
photo: French macaron version of la tour eiffel in the window of Stohrer in Paris on the Rue Montorgueil. Taken April 10, 2010, the day before the marathon.