When I was 24 I decided that I needed an adventure. I quit my job (which turned into a leave of absence when my boss wouldn’t accept my resignation) and cashed in my RRSP’s to buy a plane ticket and apartment rental for Paris.
This had been my dream since I was a little girl. To stand on the steps of the Notre Dame wearing a long floral skirt, eating an ice cream and just breathing in Parisian life. It was everything I’d hoped for and after a few hiccups at the start, truly was the most magical trip of my life. As corny and cliche as it sounds, spending a month in Paris truly did change my life.
About half way through the trip I decided I needed to visit the Eiffel Tower. Not just visit, but climb. I mean, why fly all the way to one of the worlds most famous landmarks to just take the elevator to the top.
I started off fast, I was excited and finally doing what I’d dreamed of doing for years. But, three-quarters of the way up it hit me; the Eiffel Tower is really high. I stopped. I tried to slow my breathing. I seriously considered turning around and heading back down the stairs and buying a ticket for the elevator. But, at that exact moment, two young British school boys came up, talking to each other, beside me. One turned to his friend and said “I don’t think I can go any further”. The second little boy stopped and looked at his friend and replied “You can do this. You have to do this. Don’t you want to look back at your life and say that you did this amazing thing?”
And. He was right. I did! And I took a deep breath and replied “Yes I do!” and marched right past them to the top. I arrived sweating and out of breath, but I climbed that tower and stood at the top looking out over the most beautiful city in the world.
I think of this moment of my life often. Every time life gets hard. Every time I think, I can’t do this anymore. Because I do. I want to one day look back at my life and say that I did this amazing thing.