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This is me…

I turned 34 while I was on a plane returning to Mexico. No need for mañanitas or cake. No need for boxes with wrapping. I am the worst with dates, forgetting my birthday as I forget others’, but this year I did not forget.

What do I say, Paris? I chose you as that city where I could get lost among your streets and beautiful palaces, bridges, labyrinths, museums, night spots, your underground or markets. In you I wanted to forget everything and only focus on observing life passing by each day, like your Seine that never stops and keeps flowing. Here in your city, my dear Paris, I remembered the importance of friendship, when my life-long friends showed up one by one. Women who are beautiful in all its meanings. Like an infusion of love for my cold heart, almost frozen by the rough, cruel winter that froze my ankles the whole trip, but that didn’t matter. It didn’t matter because we never stopped walking and kept on going. It didn’t matter because the moon looked down and we were never alone.

So we let ourselves do everything. We were women and we were girls. We went into all the shops we wanted. From those absurd but beautiful palaces where you would leave your life for a bag to those havens of vintage clothing full of spirit and past stories. I lived one of my dreams and toured the Louvre Museum, where instead of viewing the Mona Lisa I watched how hundreds of people were looking at her or rather, taking selfies. What I loved most was finding those characters in the paintings that didn’t stop watching me. Yes, we are really something. Yes, we are funny. And I love humanity. I love art.

And so we stayed out all night like we hadn’t in a long time. We ate all the desserts. We listened to jazz with our eyes closed. We touched the heavens going up the stairs of the Pompidou to watch the sunset and get lost in its woven colors. Paris: you are the witness of us laughing and crying with emotion in front of the Eiffel Tower. And how couldn’t you cry in this place where so many have been moved in an infinite moment of emotion. And we never got tired of eating crepes. Life, you have brought me my friends to celebrate my 34 years in a week. There wasn’t a day we didn’t eat crème brûlée. There wasn’t a day in which we didn’t drink wine. All this warmed my heart. All this was so sweet for my palate but I never got tired of it.

How wonderful it is to go into a bookstore, to listen to Mozart in the church of the Madeleine. How great to drink beer and eat snails. I always feel bad for them but I can’t help it, I love them. How great to walk on and on, getting lost with no direction. How wonderful to talk about everything but men. I was glad to know that all my friends are happy with their partners and that those that are single take it so well and for my part, I simply keep quiet and drink more wine than I ought to until I get up dizzy from the table. How wonderful to open doors, whatever door, and go through to investigate those worlds that Paris hides. To find murals that make people cry. And the Sacre Coeur: I couldn’t help it, we got to you at three in the morning but I so wanted to look at you and from there look out at the beautiful city. I couldn’t help that the tears of emotion came out without control, with no shame, abruptly with no warning. Yes, one and the other and other wet my cheeks and my chest because they ran down under my bundles of clothes. Paris: you are witness that I walked with my heart totally open. Emptiness was filled with breath and sighs. With emotion and hidden songs in my mind. While all this is happening, I go through my life in my thoughts and I am moved. My own playlist of boleros in Paris – nothing to do with it, but who cares. I listen to music. Whatever music I want. Only for me. And I hide from myself taking the liberty of saying everywhere that my name is Édith Piaf.

Now it’s my turn to leave you and take this plane. I have to return to my life that is beautiful and also something that I have to live in very intense way every day. I have to connect to the world and turn on the phone. There are very beautiful things that await and I never stop being grateful for all this. Life. Thank you because I have wonderful friends that accompanied me this week and thank you because at the end of this trip I had the opportunity to walk with myself in such a beautiful place. With my own silence at my own pace. I didn’t mind the cold because the amount of life that one sees in Paris fills the soul with warmth.

I will return to my country only to leave again, returning later and leaving again. But I don’t mind because I am living my dream. And each day I am grateful to wake up. Live life. Let a new year come to keep living intensely and fully. The most that one can. With freedom of soul and spirit. My eternal search for my life.

34 is here! Happy 34th!

This year I have no wishes to make because all have been fulfilled. Now I feel I need to come up with new wishes. How fortunate I am, definitely, how fortunate.

It’s better that I give in to this moment because I don’t know where I am going or where we are going but it doesn’t matter, we are doing well. I have given the best I could, and I go with you, my life, like I went with Paris. That my footsteps blur together in so many paths. Let’s go forward.

Thank you, Thank you. Thanks to life.

Natalia Lafourcade