Paris was the first place I ever went outside of North America. It had taken me entirely too long to work up the nerve, mostly battling what seemed like they'd be annoying inconveniences like jet lag and foreign languages. Of course, being there turned out to be the very opposite of annoying, and I was left wondering why I'd spent my whole life stalling; wondering what could possibly be better than actually being somewhere you've always wanted to be.
Notre Dame was so striking that I returned three times that first week I spent in Paris, once going to the very top, where this picture was taken, once crying from an inside pew, leaning my head against a cold metal post and mourning a certain part of my life that felt quite squandered. This is not one of those "all is now lost" posts, because the cathedral will be rebuilt, the doors will re-open. This is more to say that if there's somewhere you've always wanted to go, you should go. Because there is only now. And because the things we squander can be recovered, found, but only if we seek them.