An Open Letter To The City That Helped Me Fall In Love With Myself

Drew Coffman
Drew Coffman

Dear Paris,

They call you the ‘City of Love’ and today I understand why. You had my heart from the day I first set eyes on you. It truly was love at first sight! And just like all love first begins, I was blind to any of your flaws.

All I could see was how your every street had a story to tell, how each building you held was more beautiful than the other, how the sky turned pink above you and how I could trace the shape of the clouds therein.

I fell so hard for the diversity you added to my life with your varied platter of cheese and how you somehow managed to improve even chocolate that I never thought could get any better. I would look at your reflection for hours in the Seine and wonder how you ever got be so perfect. I was a fool in love.

Just like every other love story, the honeymoon phase soon ended and I saw you more clearly than before. I studied about your past and learned how you got each of those scars. I travelled further into you and found a few blemishes in the form of muggers and thieves. I discovered that you could be a little difficult sometimes with your administrative formalities that never seemed to end.

As months went by, I even bore witness to your dark side when you froze me out under the now grey skies. I had only imagined you in pink until then.

And that was not all, you began to change me, and who likes change? You should have loved me for me, right? You knew I never did the dishes when we first met, so why did you expect me to take on all the household chores? You knew I’d always had someone’s hand to hold, so why did you need me to put on gloves and stay away for a while? You knew I was used to people always listening to what I had to say, so why was it so hard for you to understand my language?

I really thought we were going to break up, but then you gave me the Mona Lisa smile and just like that I decided to stay and love you anyway. The difference was that this time I didn’t love you for your perfection; I saw you for exactly who you were (blemishes and all) and couldn’t help loving you anyway.

After this, I began to experience your many moods. Some days, you would cry and so I started going out with an umbrella. But then you would turn sunny and a few hours later, you’d be freezing me out again. There was no winning with you, you always seemed to throw me off guard. I just didn’t know what I could expect out of you. How could I prepare?

So I simply decided not to. I went out with you not knowing what would happen each day and boy was I surprised! The strange thing is, that I fell in love with that very uncertainty that used to once leave me anxious.

And I hate to admit it, but I did fall in love with this new improved version of myself that you made me meet. I know I resisted when you were hard on me but thank you for not giving up on me. If you had, I’d have never known the love I know today. I’d still have only known the magic of the Eiffel tower in the day and in its sparkling lights.

Thank you for teaching me how to love even after those lights go off and everyone is gone.

Alas, now the time has come to say goodbye. Unfortunately, I cannot stay forever. We were meant to cross paths for a reason – for you to change me. I hope I managed to touch you in some small way too.

I know I will meet people after this and hopefully one day find someone I decide to spend the rest of my life with but I just want you to know that – Paris, you will always be the love of my life. TC mark

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