Yesterday was Bastille Day, or La Fête Nationale. A day when, in France and worldwide, the anniversary of the storming of the Bastille is commemorated and French culture is celebrated.
I celebrated here in NYC with Danté (who took this photo of me, thank you babe!).
My original plan was to dress up in French-inspired stripes and float through the 60th Street fair like something out of an Audrey Hepburn movie, set in France but filmed in New York. Instead, my perfect striped outfit hadn’t been washed and the crowds at the fair made it more than unbearable and less than perfect; and the heat made me feel dehydrated and weak almost instantly. Turning to Danté, I could tell he was as miserable as I was. If not more so. We tossed around the idea of just going home. Yet something in me couldn’t abide such defeat. I had to at least eat a crepe or have a macaron.
Eventually, I found a macaron stand with a line that could be tolerated and placed my order, making sure to request a confection painted like the flag and one with La Tour Eiffel.
We indulged in a few of the sweet treats on the lawn in Central Park. It was the first time for Danté since we were unable to visit Laduree while in Paris. It was perhaps the twentieth time for me. If not more. And of course I had the pink one with the symbol of Paris so well known the world over.
Yet the experience fell a bit flat. So why was it so important to me?
I didn’t figure it out until today.
Moving back to NYC and changing my schedule so that I travel less and write from home more — has not been easy. I don’t regret the choice and I know it’s the right one. But it lacks the excitement and the constant change I once thrived on. It’s made my life feel, at times, like a chore and less, a celebration. Whereas once every day was a celebration because nomadic travel ensured that every day was filled with newness, now — every day has the slight sting of monotony.
Before you begin to think I desire pity, or that I don’t appreciate my partner enough, let me tell you I know this is my fault. Our lives are our own and what happens, or doesn’t happen, between the hours after we’ve woken up, and before we go to sleep…that is ours alone to ultimately manage. Mine, to be happy with or not happy with.
I’ve chosen to be unhappy and chosen to stop celebrating the things which can be celebrated. I’ve chosen not to be happy with the blessings I do have and instead chosen to mourn the things I have lost.
So yesterday, Bastille Day, was important to me to celebrate because it represents the country I had my first true solo travel experience in and a city where Danté and I had our first trip together as a couple. Both things that deserve to be commemorated and celebrated.
Then again, every day I’m breathing oxygen does, really. That’s why yesterday was also a reminder that I need to do better, living every day with the reverence it deserves, no matter where I am.
What will you celebrate today?