Two weeks ago, I strolled through Barnes & Noble. You'd think this would be a fun outing for me--browsing a bookstore--but I'll be honest, I've struggled with bookstores for three years. Let's just say when I was a kid I spent all of my allowance on books and candy. And let's also just say during this phase of my life, I've been reduced to tears, fervently wiping my eyes in the fiction section too many times. Bookstores symbolize what I want but don't yet have.
Anyway, a pretty cover on a center display table caught my eye. I peered closer. Eloisa James! Paris in Love. I vaguely remembered following her Facebook posts the year she moved to Paris. So I opened it, shifting to let a busy mother whiz by, and scanned a few pages. My adrenaline built like a pop can shaken by a mischievous ten-year-old.
Slapping the book back on the table, I marched all the way through the store back to my car. It's not enough she's a best-selling author--whom I adore!!--now she's flitting around Paris for a year too? Like I said, I knew she moved to Paris--I didn't realize she'd used the experience to write a memoir of sorts.
All the way home I chastised myself for the ridiculous envy permeating my cells. And, not surprisingly, the adrenaline died down, leaving me drained and sad.
Three days later I stood in my local library--thankfully, the library is still my happy place!--and saw the exact book that had set me off. Paris in Love by Eloisa James. This time, I fingered the spine, knowing it wasn't a coincidence. God was telling me something.
The book follows a different format--several essays break up the majority of short Facebook-ish posts. Not everyone will go for the style, but I found it engaging. Ms. James shared intimate details about her children, their struggles fitting into their new schools, her addiction to sweets, the museums, restaurants, and daily life. No longer did I envy--instead, I grew wistful, fascinated.
What would it be like to spend a year touring museums, immersed in a new culture, trying new foods, working on writing projects, and examining life?
Honestly, I have no desire to live in Paris for a year. I'm too much of a home-body. Traveling excites me, but in small doses. This book, like other articles or memoirs about writers, helped me see a bigger world. It helped me see myself bigger in the world.
Are you fascinated with certain people? Athletes? Actresses? Authors? Please share!
Have a lovely weekend! Since Monday is Memorial Day, I'll be back on Wednesday. See you then!