Dear Paris, With Love From Harlem (Repost)

*This is a revised version of my latest post, apparently it just disappeared and the original copy refuses to surface. If you’ve read the original, know that I will dance to the same song, but my moves may be different now*


The City of Lights…some may even say the City of Love. Paris, BABY Paris!! I’m baaacccckkk ! This love affair has been like a small candle burning internally since I can remember, but a couple of years ago I made up my mind that this Harlem girl would make one of her dreams reality.  My uncle asked a simple question over lunch Winter 2011. “What do you care about?” I sat across the table, with stained eyes from tears, messy hair, and the appearance of someone who looked like they no longer cared (frankly I didn’t) and said “Paris”. At thee most challenging time in my adult life thus far (I was battling a heavy case of depression), the dreamer inside was still alive and obviously had plans to keep dreaming. The aroma of the Parisian streets in my nasal passage was as evident as your heart beat in your chest. I wanted good croissants, better wine and that alluring French accent from a man up close and personal. It’s my truth, don’t judge me.  I desired Paris… more than anything. Summer 2011 was when I first had a taste. It only urged on my hunger to relocate to France. Now we sit at the steps of Spring 2013, and I’m here NOW! Embracing the rainy days, lack of communication (I’m not fluent in French), minimal company (I haven’t made any friends yet in my eight days here 🙂 ) and the challenge to stretch my US dollars as far as the Euro will allow (Nope, don’t have a job yet either, and the dollar SUCKS!). I’ve learned probably an invaluable lesson as soon as I stepped off the airplane. The Journey is more important than the location. Now this is something that I thought I accepted when I was in Harlem about ten days. However once that thought became a thing, it changed the game. I’ve decided I’m going to play for the experience instead of the “win”.

I share my journey with you as a reminder to myself and a prayer for you to do the following:

1) Have the COURAGE to accomplish a Dream. You’re Worth It!

2) Trusts yourself enough to realize that what may appear as a “fail” is never the end, usually it represents the opposite.

3) LIVE!! It’s important to participate in your life, not just fall subject to what the day throws your way.

I’ve lived in this magical city for over a week now, and I’m still awaiting the arrival for my “Parisian Butterfly” to show up. What exactly is that you ask? Well during my visit here two years ago, I saw for the first time in years, a butterfly. A white one at that! The moment I realized the enchanting creature was gracing my presence, it sealed the deal and stole my heart for this city. Almost nine days later that feeling (which is the Parisian Butterfly) hasn’t resurfaced. And perhaps it may not, but that doesn’t change my audacity to continue to Dream.

10 thoughts on “Dear Paris, With Love From Harlem (Repost)

  1. YOU, ma’am!, are an inspiration to us all!! Thank you for sharing your journey with us in such a beautiful way … please continue to share & please continue to dream! Loving you & missing you… xoxoCJ

  2. What an inspiring and beautiful post, Shantay! I’m happy to hear you are positive and happy – and can’t wait to follow you on your journey. Thank you so much for including me!! Trying to find my own Parisian Butterfly as well 🙂 Looking forward to your next post. xox Alex

  3. I love the energy that jumps off this pg! & for the record….we are definitely from the same tribe (like we needed any more confirmation) b/c The Creator has been sendn me white butterflies since i was a girl! Love them!!! They are my ‘S/He is with me’ or my ‘life hello.’ Different days the white butterflies rep dffrnt things but all under the same umbrella! #mariposa

  4. Shantay i love the way you live life. No matter where you go god is right there. I’m so bless to have you as a friend I love you and enjoy your journey

  5. Shantay,

    I love your words. Your that person that make others want to do and be better. I’m so glad to have met you, keep falling your dream and never settle for less. Lastly, hopefully you don’t mind a sidekick on this journey.

  6. Shantay! This is beautiful! I have no doubt that this journey will bring only good things to you. I think you are amazing, and I love the way you write! Have fun in Paris, I can’t wait to read what’s next.. 🙂 sending lots of love from the big city ❤

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