I am a perfectionist. And it is not a good thing.
I have the tendency to look back and dwell on what I should have done. On the one hand it helps me grow. I am always thinking strategically about what I want to change for next time. On the other, it robs me of gratefulness for the process. Perfectionism keeps me enjoying what I have been given.
Which brings me to Paris. Glorious Paris.
You’d think I just danced around Paris light as a feather free as a bird by looking at these images.
Wrong. I was frustrated that it was cold and rainy the whole time, because I only brought one pair of long pants and one jacket. Neither being very fashionable. I was tired from walking all over the city all day and night because no one in my party wanted to take long Parisian lunches and take a break. I hadn’t really planned out what I wanted ahead of time, so I found myself in every church and museum Paris had, wishing I was just sipping coffee at a cafe or shopping. Just writing all of that out is rough. I want to go back and erase it. Make it sound less like I am a petulant child. But that’s exactly how I was acting.
Which led me to day 2 in Paris. Aaron and I had split from our dear friends after climbing the Arch de’Triomphe and I was a cranky hot-mess. I sat down on a bench and cried, feeling tired and sorry for myself.
Bless my husband for dealing with this kind of behavior. Really. It was one of those moments where you can SEE yourself acting badly but you feel absolutely powerless to snap out of it.
After figuring out what in the world was going on inside my head, he helped me make a plan. Go back to our place and take a nap. REST. Get some macarons on the way back to that nap (RIGHT? He’s a saint.) Then map out the shops I want to go to tomorrow and stop feeling sorry for myself.
It’s funny but this is the kind of thing I love about traveling. Not that it makes me act like a lunatic, but that it really forces me to figure out what prevents me from doing what I love. I love our friends so much and being there with them, I wanted to just do the things they were excited about. But I was doing everything at the expense of my own needs, I wasn’t even listening to my body or stopping to slow down when I knew I needed to.
It would have been easy to just post all of these images and say “Yay for Paris! We were living the dream!”
I mean, we did. It was marvelous to see so much. But even with these images it took me so long to edit and post them because I even wish I had taken different pictures… More of the normal city things while we walked around… or shot everything on film… or …
Even now I know I am being crazy. But I think it’s good to put that out there so you aren’t just sitting here thinking that pretty pictures equals pretty easy life.
That’s just not reality. Life is messy. I am a mess. But that doesn’t mean life isn’t good.
And just because something isn’t perfect, doesn’t mean it’s all bad. In fact, sometimes it’s the imperfections that make the good stuff even sweeter.
I would also like to take this opportunity to put this out into the universe, if you are getting married in Paris next spring, let me know. Or if you need photos for a magazine editorial. Or if you even just want some family photos…
I will shoot it for free. Just fly us back, and it’s on me. Shoot me an email firstname.lastname@example.org