Picking up what is now one of my favourite books to-date, How to be Parisian Wherever You Are, left me with hope to dream a little and finally calm my bustling mind to escape into a world of an overseas fantasy. To my surprise, even though these pages were filled with a hilarious take on the kind of woman 'she' is, it was almost ridiculously relatable.
The similarities jumped out at me with a conviction; surely the world doesn't look at me like this. It was a constant battle to stop texting my girlfriends that this is exactly who we are when it comes to fashion, men and our views on the world. Surely it isn't true right?
But then it dawned on me, could I be in denial that of the 'girl' they speak of "... is capable of moving mountains but is in constant need of reassurance."
Do I really think that, "the city is ... her stage and she treats every kiss like a once-in-a-lifetime performance. She wants to be unforgettable – both to the man clinging to her lips and to the people passing by."?
I didn't realise that I live by the rule to, "never lose control. But make sure you have a steamy past."
And then I hit this paragraph and everything made sense.
"She's aware that her flaws mess with her life. But changing is too much work."
There it was in black and white. My life. An honest view from a stranger's perspective.
I had to discover the truth through the pages in which four women have lived their lives and controversially given their take on the type of woman we often try to figure out.
It's a light-hearted read with a powerful level of truth. It's confronting, hilarious and best enjoyed with a glass of red wine.
After turning every page with dread that the there was more truth to what I was reading and at the same time never wanting it to end, I realised ... The Parisian woman exists in every single one of us, even if it's just a smidge.
"Give yourself over but don't give yourself away."
Berest, A., Maigret, C., Diwan, A. and Mas, S. (2014). How to be a Parisian
wherever you are. North Sydney, N.S.W.: Ebury Press.