Je Suis Pari

This weekend has been a Parisian blur of meetings, suppliers, sales and fine dining. I write this sat on the Eurostar, with creamy coffee, a selection of cheeses and bread and a book I can sink my teeth into. Sat in Standard Premier I catch glimpses of myself amongst the businessmen. Them in suits and me, black jumpsuit, MK glasses and one hell of a case. I can't help but laugh at how much I don't fit in - but in reality, I am here too on business not pleasure (can I even say that? It feels so foreign on my lips). As we roll through French countryside I am painfully grateful that my work family have taken me out the grapples of monotony. Days have been long, hard and full of awkward conversation, but nights are relaxed wine and champagne fuelled dinners, taxi-ing around the streets of Paris. I spent my nights in a tiny attic room, with a view of Parisian rooftops spilling out of the skylight. If not for anything, I am grateful to be back in my own bed (and for once, I have become a person who says that and means it). We ate in tiny corner cafes, a jumble of foods like Steak, Pomme-Frites, Stonebaked Pizza, Snails and the strongest vodka lemonade known to man. Other nights were incredible sushi, sticky rice, a magnum of champagne, black cod and king crab. With goats cheese baguettes and evening houerderves in between. 

This morning we had a meeting with Dee from Ralph Lauren in the appointment room of the Rue de Madeliene store. As with the trains, I am surprised to catch glimpses of myself drinking espresso and understanding, if not interjecting in sales talk. As I sit nodding, wishing I was taking notes like E, I hope no one can see that under my smile I have truly and absolutely no idea what I am doing here. I watched Carly who is the epitome of Ralph (and it reminds me of Silken-Trouser-Claid bombshell at L'Objet). I think that one day that could be me, relaying information to clients and discussing product lead times. That effectively what we do already, non?

There were endless moments that I could see myself living in Paris, the cafe culture and tight street living. No wonder it's the most visited city in the world. But alas, if anything I am nomadic, and urban living would suit only for a year or so. I suppose that might be both a wonderful adventure and a a great tragedy in one. In the end, it's only a handful of things that really matter; that we are kind, compassionate, and when we love we love with every fibre of our being. My unquenching wanderlust is probably counterbalanced by my mother's kindness. With each year that passes I realise I am more unapologetic and genuine. I hope I relish growing older and wiser with age (something I will need to remind my future self when I can). 

There are things I say to myself as I watch others on the train. The sun is descending, hung low and golden. There are clouds, but the sky is painted with a deep blue that reminds me they are only passing. Look how far you've come, with no direction. See what you have created for a girl who doesn't want a fast paced high flying career. I think secretly, somewhere in the depths of my soul, that is exactly what I want. To be the NK of Space NK, to wear blush silk trousers, to fly between London, New York, Coppenhagan and Hong Kong. But it's strange because when I'm home, in my Forever 21 pyjamas, with my glasses on, watching Bake Off and afraid of the dark upstairs, there are moments I still feel like a child. I hold the R.Gervais and G.O'Keefee quotes near to me; that we are all terrified, and nobody knows what the hell they're doing, and that life wouldn't really be worth living if that wasn't the case. 

Still, we grind along the tracks to home; blackness now as we dip under the ocean (?!?!). Travelling does and will continue to light something inside me that I can feel running through my veins. I pass a man on the train who's infant son holds his face whilst he tries to concentrate on his laptop. I can feel my heart melt a little for them. I truly believe there is goodness and love everywhere, if only one seeks it first. A man opposite watches Homeland, others play Sudoko. As we dip from France with a whoosh, it's like the clouds have cleared in the UK. Despite the drive, and the fact that I have work tomorrow and for the next five days, and despite not being remotely ready to tackle anything, my bed is calling me home, and I am overwhelmingly excited to see my boy at the door and tell him all about my adventure. 


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