Taken at the top of the Eiffel Tower!
Contrary to the title, I made it to the top but I did not, in fact, fall. (Although apparently it is actually a bit of a hotspot for the suicidal – 400 ‘jumpers’ to date..) Anyway, the title was my attempt at phonetic amusement. Instead I’m talking about suicides. Hm. Moving swiftly onwards..
I went on a beautiful trip to Paris avec ma mère, just the two of us, back in March 2011. It was the end of our first day, around 10.30pm, and she didn’t fancy climbing to the top, so I said I’d meet her in the nearest coffee shop.
Alone at the very top, I remember looking out at the gorgeous Parisian view spread before me, and thinking how beautiful my life was. At that time, everything was perfect. Life was being obedient and going exactly as I had planned it to.
I’m ever thankful that Life decided to rebel later that year, and refused to conform to its preconceived and precisely planned route I had made for it. I used to be so scared of not being in control of my life, that I had mapped out my future completely. I knew how everything was going to work out, and that made me feel secure.
Needless to say it didn’t work out like that. Things changed, and I lost my firm grip of the steering wheel I had so expertly designed. I’m not going to go off on one and talk about all of that, but the guy (yep, believe it or not there was a guy involved in this, quelle surprise) told me that it would be short term pain that would give me long term happiness. I thought he was bullsh****** me, and I wouldn’t hear it at the time. But by god was he right. To think of that old path now fills me with remorse. Remorse that I didn’t leave it it sooner. I guess there was one thing he was good for after all.
Back to the Eiffel Tower though..
Afterwards, just as I reached the bottom, I saw mum waiting for me. She’d stayed there the whole time, and as I reached her, I turned to look back at “La Dame de Fer”. She was sparkling at me. (Yep, I mean literally.. Every hour on the hour, the 20000 flashbulbs on the eiffel tower light up and it ‘sparkles’ for 10 minutes.)
Gustave Eiffel is said to have told the first tourists “I ought to be jealous of the tower. She’s more famous than I am.” And seeing as most people know little or nothing about the designer, I guess he’s right. But he left his (land)mark on the world, and he deserves a bit of credit now and then. Thanks, Gustave.
As for me, I recently gave up trying to meticulously plan my life. Giving up doesn’t always mean you are weak. Sometimes it means that you are strong enough to let go. Fearing the unknown is just part of life, I have to move through that fear and loosen the grip on the wheel a bit.
My life’s mantra: Hold your own, know your name, and go your own way. And everything, everything will be fine.