Long time no talk!! In my instagram bio it says I’m a lifestyle blogger so I figured I better actually live up to that self given title ;).
(BTW I wrote this before I got engaged…so something else has been holding my attention lately.)
Nothing can hold my attention anymore. I can’t stop thinking about the magic, the emotion, the tears, the breathless moment it all came to a head. The dream that preoccupied my nights was finally my reality. I dreamed of it longer then it was actuality. But every moment of it was everything I hoped it would be. The lights, the feeling, the majestic nature, the architecture, the baguettes on every corner. In some ways it was exactly how I imagined it, and in others its the exact opposite. The moral of the story, is that dreams can come true but only with patience, trust, and a little bit of pixie dust.
Ever since I can remember, I have been obsessed with the Eiffel tower. I don’t know why. It’s not like it was a part of any family stories or genealogy. I saw a picture one day and couldn’t get over how beautiful it is. The more I learned about France and the beauty that was held within it’s culture, the more I wanted to absorb as much as I could of it. I made a bucket list when I was a little freshman in high school. Still wide eyed, and not aware of the heartbreak the world creates. On my bucket list I wrote, get to paris and stand under neath the Eiffel tower. I have heard what seems like millions of stories about people having dreams, and goals, but only using them to fall asleep at night. From young age I have had a determination to accomplish those items on that bucket list I made when life seemed so materialistic. It’s not even necessarily about those items on the list, that now seem so insignificant, but it’s about proving to myself that I won’t let life pass me by. I’ll give life the chance it deserves and attempt to live it to my definition of “the fullest”.
Any friend I ever made, any boy I ever dated, and everyone in between has known that Paris….was my ultimate goal. As time goes on every new relationship I find myself in regardless of it’s nature, learns of my dream and the colorful details that come with it. When I was about to serve a mission for the LDS church, I was terrified that it would never happen. I hadn’t had an opportunity to go and I knew my minimum wage college jobs just weren’t gonna get me there. I remember kneeling down to say a prayer about my long list of fears about going on a mission. The third fear on that list was that if I went on a mission I would miss my chance. I remember not feeling peace about getting to go, but not feeling like it wasn’t out of the picture. I said in my prayer, “Look…I have to go one day…like you gotta help me. Here I’ll tell you what…I’ll serve a mission to make you happy, and you help me get to Paris. I know you can do it. Just help me make it happen.” I remember receiving a distinction impression that sure, God could get me there….but I could get myself there with his help. So I went on a mission. Not sure what the future held, but confident in who held my future.
I came home from my mission determined as ever to just get there. As soon as I got home there was an opportunity to study abroad in Paris for the coming summer. Perfect, I thought! I have about a year to save up, and I’ll be there. I got a job, I started saving. I filled out the mountain of paper work and gathered as many letters of recommendation as I could. Not to drive the brag train, but I nailed the admission interview for this study abroad trip. Everything was working out perfectly…until it wasn’t. The admission director informed me that not enough students signed up for this particular study abroad trip so it would have to be canceled. My first thought was honestly, “Hold up dude, I served a mission this is supposed to happen!” I felt extremely defeated, but I wasn’t giving up. I was dating someone at the time, and we were talking about getting married. We decided that instead of a reception we would use the money to travel to Paris and my dream could finally come true. We went to go meet with a local travel agent and she tallied up the cost. I knew what to except…like come on I’d be researching this trip my whole life. I guess my partner wasn’t as aware of what it takes to travel because when the travel agent revealed what we would be spending he looked at me and simply said, “No.” I was stunned, and wether you believe it or not I kept dating him for a while after that! Why would I ever think twice about being with someone who doesn’t support my dream? Eventually we broke up and I was more then determined to stop letting people stomp on my dream. I waited too long and wanted to get to Paris way to badly to hear the word ‘No’ one more time. I woke up one morning last summer, looked at my mom, and in state of heartbreak and determination I said “I’m buying a ticket to Europe today.” I did a little research, and was actually a little hesitant about just doing it. I compared prices, tried to wait for the right time and eventually…..
Fast forward to March 2016, the long awaited moment was almost here. I brought my little bother along because #1 standing at 6′ 4″he’s not so little and #2 My parents have watched the movie Taken one too many times and were not about to let me travel half away around the world by myself. When we finally arrived in Paris…I got sick. Not like a cold just get over it sick…like I can’t get out of bed and I think I need to get to the hospital kind of sick (and eventually had to actually admit when I got back). I didn’t let anyone know how sick I really felt, just that I was sick. I was not giving up when the Eiffel tower was literally OUTSIDE MY BEDROOM WINDOW! I had worked way too hard to get there. The first time I saw it was while I was driving. It was out the window, and my heart stopped. I grabbed my little brother’s arm and all I could do was point. I couldn’t believe it was real. That night we walked to the tower during the sunset. I kept stopping just to stare because it didn’t even feel real that it was no longer just a picture. With little nudges from my little brother to keep going, because “uh lex….you can get closer you know” we eventually got there. It was dark by the time we arrived. I looked up at the sky and with tears in my eyes said, “Thanks”. I carefully walked across the street and just stared straight up in the sky. It was real. I was real. Dreams were real. Hard work is real. Patience is real. People will always tell you no. You have the power to say yes. All of these thoughts, and more kept swarming through my head. My little brother and I stood under the tower for about 3 minutes. He then looked at me and said, “Ok I got my picture, lets go.” HECK NO! I took my sweet time, examining every inch of that tower my brain could process. I had conquered one too many trails to get there, we weren’t about to just walk away. I stood under that tower for what felt like 2 seconds, but in reality was about a half an hour. As we walked away I had a sudden wave of sadness. Everything I have ever been working towards was over. All of the sweat and tears had seemed to just vanished. Everything those tears represented was now a memory. What was next? Luckily I had an 11 hour flight home to answer that.
I want to remember the tears. I want to remember how the principle of hard work was seared in my brain because of this experience. I want to remember how the fact that I accomplished such a large task, brought more magic than the trip itself. I want to remember the butterflies that flew through my stomach as we walked up to that perfectly lit up tower. I want to remember how nothing else seemed to matter in that moment. Not a stress, or a worry in the world. Because dreams do come true. We were not sent to this life to sit and watch it go by. We are not here to wonder what life would be like if we could, we are here to say we did. Go discover your own version of Paris. Fight for it until you get there, and never stop chasing your Paris. Because I’ve been there, and it will mean more then any show on netflix ever will.