Posted in Life, Mental health

A small triumph in Paris


After our translation studies, one of my friends moved to Paris. The city of light. The city of dreams…at the very least, a city I wanted to see but never had before. While I missed her, the opportunity to travel there within budget was a definite plus.

But life happened, and when spring arrived and I felt like winter would last forever, I got on top of all this sadness, so sad that I would miss out on this as well.

So eventually I made a call, and I told her that I missed her but that I wasn’t up for a city trip. My blood pressure and my heartbeats ran wild, I trembled often and I was always, always scared.

And she told me this: “I want to see you. You can grab this train, and then the next (she send me the schedule) and I will stand next to the yellow pole before the message board when you arrive. I’ll fix you a metro pass, and then we can go home and watch movies all weekend.”

I did everything the way she told me, and we geeked out on all the shows and books that were my lifeline in these darkest months. In hindsight, I did this with my partner too, for months on end and I’m always conflicted on telling people because I know depression makes following shows or reading quite hard. The months before I crashed I didn’t manage either. I think for me, who loves stories, it was an early sign of recovery.

So we geeked. And then, the next morning, and the days after, I saw Paris. I climbed Notre-Dame. I got nervous from the crowds at the Eiffel Tower, but I saw it from l’Arc du Triomphe when the lights played their game. We strolled the Disney Store and we had awesome Chinese and deliriously good coffee. She guided me to the Greek and Roman art section in the Louvre and to the Mona Lisa, who is by all means, very very, small and a little cheeky.

Paris did not cure me, and the year after was still hard. But it was a reminder of all that was leftto see.

Far more important than that was that the journey restored a morsel of my trust. In others, and for that I will be forever grateful. Liesbet, these days have been invaluable. You have been invaluable.

Trust in me, too. Because I dared to go, and allowed myself to see my energy stretch, reminding me that it could.

Next time I visited her, I was much better and we’ve had to reset our dynamics, because I didn’t need quite as many directions as before.

These things, they change. We change. And the ones who follow us on that path…they stay close to our heart forever.


P.S. The first picture was taken at the Sacre-Coeur by my friend An. The middle ones on the 14th of July, while we waited for the fireworks on France’s national holiday…ON THE WRONG SIDE of La Seine. So we missed half of it

Because some things, they never change…


I'm the writer of Mesmer, a historical fantasy series set in Ancient Gaul (which I hope to publish one day!). I'm also a reader with a special soft spot for comics, and a mom trying to show my kids all the voices the world has to offer. This is a space for me to type down the thoughts that I can't craft into fiction, and to complain when my characters nag me into doing stuff I don't have time for.

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