The other day I saw a woman crying on the metro. For a second I felt it. That moment when you cant hold it in anymore and it comes pouring out. Devastating and an incredible release all at once. It reminded me of the night before I left. When I came home from my farewell dinner, sat beside my suitcase filled with clothes and a book on Paris and sobbed.
I'm in a different place now. The other night I cried out of exhaustion, but I am happy now. Paris is a feast. A feast I'm sharing with over a hundred students and ten great staff members.
The days run from morning until after midnight. We are all tired. But there are enough perfect moments to make up for the drama, the insane summer heat, the lack of air conditioning, lost metro passes and sick students. Moments like lying int he grass by Marie Antoinette's hamlet in Versailles, being the first in the Musée d'Orsay, learning how to make macarons at Gerard Mulot, running up colourful walls at Palais de Tokyo, watching swing dancers on the Seine, and singing La Vie en Rose on the canal St.Martin with the sun beating down on us.
The kids, who range from fourteen to nineteen, and I guess aren't really kids, have infectious youthful energy. I'm grateful for them. A small group always chooses my excursions and I feed them the Paris that satisfies me. We explore the Marais, go to markets, look at specialty food stores and boutiques. We enjoy each others company.
Some days are overwhelming but the stress of this year has taught me to be calmer. I worry less and enjoy living in the moment more. When something goes wrong I try to breathe it in, breathe it out, and assess how best to deal with the situation. I am choosing to be happy.
Overall, life is good. Paris is a fine feast and I'm happy to share it.