During the last week I was in Paris, one of my roommates celebrated her birthday. All she wanted to do was grab some food and go have dinner on the Seine. In Paris, it's kind of the thing to do. Couples of all ages grab a bottle of wine and escape to some romance. Teenagers and young adults gather a group of friends and some food and go down there just to hang out. So that's what we did. We went to the store, grabbed some food, some wine, some bread and cheese and went to eat dinner on the Seine. This same day I had walked...a lot. I was tired and just wanted to sit for a few minutes but the second I got home she was all about leaving right then for no one to show up in the end. However, it turned out to be really great. It was just the three of us, me and my two roommates, sitting quietly on the river eating dinner and drinking wine. Lots of it. We were trying to decide on what to do next and headed to Café de Flore, my roommate's favorite place to go. There we had ice cream and champagne. It was pretty great. There were musicians battling for the attention of pedestrians and restaurant customers. Something that you would expect in Paris.
However, to me, this night was so much more than my roommate's birthday. It was the night I felt like a real Parisian. I had finally stepped out of those norms I had grown up with and surrendered to a culture that was not my own. It was this night that I decided I didn't want to leave. I felt like I belonged here. Even with my sometimes too loud Italian voice and non-French predominantly blonde hair, I felt more comfortable in this foreign country I had only spent a few weeks of my life than anywhere else I had ever been. It felt like home to me. Like in Midnight to Paris, this was the moment that I fell in love with Paris and Paris fell in love with me. We accepted each other, flaws and all. Now that I have been back to where I used to always call home, I am just left with a feeling of nostalgia. A feeling that I had been somewhere I belonged but am unsure if and when I'll ever return. The world is such a large place and I want to see so much of it. I guess the great thing about all of this is that I can say I started in Paris. Regardless if I ever return, even if just for a moment, I can say one day to someone that my life, my adulthood, my existence started in Paris.