How Paris Made Me Feel Okay Again

In June 2017, I took a spontaneous trip to Paris, France. I stayed at Disneyland Paris, spending two full days at the parks and one day on an excursion to the city of Paris. But I was in the middle of graduate school, specifically right off the tail of an internship and in the middle of my IRP, or dissertation. Why would I go spend so much money at such an inconvenient time?

Because it was needed.

Time for a story. When I was in Glasgow, I was in a relationship that we decided to keep on the down low. For reasons, I’ll call him Tom. He and I went out for quite a while, and things were going well. He was a great guy. Until the very unfortunate breakup. Without going into too many details, I happened upon him and his mates talking about me. The friends were wondering what he was doing with an ugly, fat person like me. And Tom’s response was that, while I was indeed ugly and fat, I had a decent personality. I pop my head out, say my goodbyes, and leave.

What an upsetting time. I already had my own body issues, I hated the way I looked but was trying to build up my confidence. And the fact that someone I loved thought in such a way put me in a really sad place. I locked myself up in my flat, trying to distract myself with my school work, hating life. Couldn’t do it. I needed a confidence booster and I needed it now.

So I sent myself to Paris.

I’ll go day by day, starting with my first day in the parks. Disneyland is a happy place. The employees there are required to make you feel special. Every place I went, ride I went on, gift shop I visited, they made me feel like a wonderful, worthy person. Also, Disneyland Paris is BEAUTIFUL. I’m sorry, Disneyland California, but you can’t beat Paris. Having a change of scenery helped keep my mind off Tom, off my work, off my own low self-esteem. The first day was just wandering the parks, getting endorphins and a happy high from everything around me.

The next day I went on an excursion (with Disneyland) to the city of Paris. This included a tour of the city, a River Seine cruise, and a trip to the Louvre. It was another change of scenery that I adored. The Louvre was actually very special to me in my depressive state. I loved seeing priceless art, specifically art that featured some chub on a lady. Ladies with curves, with fat, depicted in quite beautiful ways.

And the third day I spent in France was in the parks again. This time I Disneybounded as Jack Skellington, and I was able to go into the park an hour early to meet characters and go on rides. This was the day I felt most special. The characters were amazing, the staff was fantastic as well, even some of the park goers gave my outfit compliments. No one treated me terribly because of my size or nationality (both fears of mine when I went to Paris). I did everything I possibly wanted to: I rode all the rides I wanted, I met the characters I wanted to the most (with the exception of Belle), I ate, drank, and was merry! It was near impossible to feel bad about myself in such a place.

And the next day I went back to Glasgow, and back to my school work.

These three days I spent in Paris were important to me, and I know I’ll cherish them forever. And I have to say, I’m proud of myself for doing something like this for myself rather than wallowing in self-hate and eventually breaking down beyond repair. So, I’d like to say to you guys that you are beautiful. If anyone says otherwise, they are not worth your time. Treat yourself, and spend time reminding yourself how lovely and valid you are.

One more note, I know people who are reading this (friends and family) are gonna want to know what happened with Tom, and how I feel about things now. I’m over it, and I’m over him. Trust me, I don’t think about him much. I don’t see this breakup as something to look back on and talk about. Our relationship was kept quiet in the first place, so the breakup was in the same fashion.

Anyway, you’re beautiful, you’re amazing, you’re worthy of love. And if you don’t feel that way, work on yourself and treat yourself until you believe it. I’m still working on it, but at least I’m working.

Hugs

Alexandra

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