I remember sitting at Les Deux Magot 10 years ago at a table outside tucked in a corner. It was cold, Spring just hitting Paris, and I was finishing “A Moveable Feast.” I read a lot of Hemingway and Fitzgerald while backpacking after my study abroad was over so going to one of their old haunts was one of the first things I did after getting off the train at Gare du Nord. I treated myself to a cup of coffee so I could sit at that tiny table as long as I wanted; I was 20 years old and even though I was coming off of what I see now as an incredibly ballsy time period in my life, I remember sitting in that cafe entirely caught up in “Would I make the right decisions in college, what should I do for my career, where should I live, do I really like my friends, would I fall in love again?” Basically, would everything be okay? Would I be able to do it, whatever “it” was?
I was back at that same cafe a few weeks ago. The sun was shining, the benefit of Summer spilling into Fall, and I was passing by after spending several hours in a cooking class. I treated myself to a glass of champagne so I could sit at that tiny table as long as I wanted. I watched the bubbles rise and burst and when I entertained some new questions floating through my mind, I thought…
Yes, everything will be okay.
Yes, you will be able to do it.
In the past 10 years, each of those questions were answered in one way or another. A decision is the right one simply based on the fact that you made it and everything absolutely works out even if it doesn’t because you are strong enough, smart enough, capable enough to move toward what is next. Turning 30 didn’t really mean anything to me, I had no list of 30 things I learned, but sitting in the sun on the sidewalk at Les Deux Magot remembering so viscerally who I was the last time I was there made me realize that the difference in the last 10 years is that I have learned that win, lose or draw, I’ve got this. It’s going to be okay, it is already okay, you’ve got this.
And you know what else? That independent, ballsy girl was still there on that patio. Coffee or champagne, some things never change.