Paris: A Photo Diary

“Then, Paris:

Misty, blurred, bright. Feeling like your entire existence is on black and white film. Water hangs in the air, suspended indefinitely just above pavement and cobblestones. Angry Frenchmen pay me no attention as they scurry down sidewalks; places to go and baguettes to eat.

Romance is everywhere; it fills rooms and dominates energies. Romance for lovers, romance for adventure, romance for all the enlightening sights and sounds I’ve discovered. This city’s romance knows no bounds. It’s not just for the couples; Paris is for the romantics, paired or not.

When I think of you, Paris, I will think of delicate lace, wet cobblestones, and too much bread. I will wistfully remember the clicking of heels on streets at 4 am. Laughter over a bottle of wine and a rude waiter. Speechlessness when I want to say something, and moments when I didn’t feel the need at all – like that night we watched the Eiffel Tower light up in all of her splendor.

I will always remember the day you served me all of my idols on a silver platter, walking down the street following a fashion show I will one day attend. The empowerment I felt in that moment, it can only be felt in a city like you.

Getting lost in your city streets didn’t taste like panic like it usually does; it felt like freedom vibrating across my skin and the rain acted as my guide. I explored with an intensity, feverishly eager for all the knowledge and experiences you had to offer.

Paris, most importantly you taught me that my greatest love is and will always will be with myself. Me and only me. I and only I can teach myself what I am worth. And Paris, with you I am worth everything.” – Journal entry, March 4th, 2017.

Getting lost in a ruined palace

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Linlithgow Palace

Stepping into what used to be the Grand Hall; all that’s left is moss and broken stones. The energy of lives that once filled this room still vibrates in the air, though weakened after hundreds of years. Green and golden hues fill each and every crevice and crack. Spiral staircase towers and medieval architectural planning construct a playground. Curiosity all consuming, it pulls me to each new doorway. I skip down halls, dance through old bed chambers, giggle with an adolescent excitement as I climb my way up to the top, taking the steps two at a time.

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The ceiling crumbled centuries ago, but I would wager that the princesses and princes who once lived here would have preferred it this way – natural light exposing every thoughtful detail, inscribed initials and family crests. Grand windows would have once let light kiss the floors, but now the sun’s rays flood every room without obstruction.

Window seats provide the same function they were once intended for; sitting, gazing, wondering. The journal comes out, the pen pours ink. What is it that’s making my heart burst here? I’m in love with this place. I’m in love with the way I feel here; enchanting, magnificent.

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Something so grand that makes me feel so minute and humbled. People felt here, people loved here, people lived here. Their entire world reduced to rubble around me. Joys and sorrows long forgotten, but still present – the taste of abandoned ruins is so bittersweet. It’s a spiritual experience to truly recognize evidence of other worlds than your own; the palpability of knowing you make up less than one second in the clock of the world and its history.

All the wonders of the world don’t compare to what I’ve unearthed here. It’s a storybook, and coming here in solitude is allowing me to understand how I am in fact my own fairytale ending. I am a princess, twirling about in what used to be the King’s Throne Room. I record a mental movie of myself in this moment, later to be projected onto my dreams, and I continue on my way.

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Desire To Move, Outfits with Movement

This is my favorite photoshoot to date.

Favorite stretch of road, favorite dress, favorite time of day… Everything is pretty much ideal. I’ve been really inspired by the idea of flying by the seat of your pants recently, and even though I’m stuck in a library during most of my spare time, it’s nice to look at pictures like these and revisit those wistful notions again. They can inspire even the littlest of things, like a trip to a new coffee shop or area of town – there’s loads of new places to discover here in Montreal and sometimes you just need that little extra push to get out of the house and move.

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I feel like my more recent posts have reflected that – a desire to move, shown through outfits with movement. Forget the backdrop, I don’t think you’d see an outfit like this on somebody totally content with being stuck in one place for a while.

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It’s pretty convenient that I’ve been getting this cliche wanderlust, though, because I just found out that I’ll be spending a semester abroad in Edinburgh next Winter! It’s a whole year away but I’m confident the time will pass quickly, as it has been lately.

There isn’t much else to say, so I’ll let the pictures do the rest of the talking.

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