I was able to eat macaroons, crème brulee, croissants, drink fine French wine, and espresso with my other half while many people grieved for their lost loved ones. I viewed the Cathedral of Notre Dame where pigeons flew all around, taking me back to my childhood watching the Hunchback of Notre Dame and laughing at the gargoyles. Walking under the Eiffel Tower eating a crepe next to soldiers armed with assault rifles was enough to bring me back to reality.
In the two days we spent in Paris, Conner and I got to see all the sights you’re supposed to see. From the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower to the Statue of Liberty and the Arc. We even attached a lovelock to the Pont des Arts, we did the Tour de France of Wine, and we had some of the best meals together. I truly enjoyed seeing such a beautiful city celebrating three years together with Conner, and yet I ached the whole time. Every siren made my stomach drop. Every newspaper stand filled with pictures of the massacre, and every pile of flowers we passed reminded me of the reality. I’ve read countless stories and articles over the past few days and my heart breaks for the world. I pray for those involved directly in the attacks, for the families of those lost and recovering, and I pray that one day there will be peace.
There is so much hate, and this hate rises from fear. The one thing I think everyone should take away is that we are all humans and we should stand together as a human race against the wrong in this world. Showing support in any way you can to those in need (in any country), showing compassion for those who are grieving, and being respectful of every human life is what is necessary to get through these times.
I’m grateful to have been able to see as much as I have and experienced so many cultures in my life thus far, and I’m still so eager to see more. I can’t live in fear because life is too short, and it must be lived to the fullest. As much as it hurts, life does go on and to honor every lost life in such acts of hate, I feel it’s my duty to live fully, love unconditionally, and positively impact the world in any way that I can.
[I'm so grateful also to have Conner by my side to live this life with me. It has been an amazing three years together and I can't wait for the many more.]