My trip to Paris, the city of love, came to symbolize the day I began the pursuit of my passion for writing.
I started writing because the inexplicable turmoil inside me had grown so large it had nowhere else to go and ultimately spilled onto paper! It seemed unlikely that I would have chosen writing as a medium to self-medicate. I loved numbers — it was what I did for a living. It was not till I was in high school that I started reading books. Before that, words appeared to float on paper. Never quite landing. And writing seemed too personal. Numbers provided formulas and a safe distance. Till recently, I needed these formulas and a safe distance from which to navigate life.
I could not put my finger on what was causing the pain. A myriad of things pointed to one prevailing issue — I was not living in alignment with who I was. And it was not a midlife crisis but a gnawing. Something that used to get me out of bed was no longer satisfying.
And what else could I do? I had wanted to be a financial advisor since I was fifteen. My dad was an accountant. I had a keen interest in how the stock market worked. I even used to watch the daily market report with my dad. I was happy when I started in the industry. But over time, something changed.
I knew the pain was far more than dissatisfaction with work. I felt like I had been ignoring who I was. Instead, I was trying to be who I thought I was supposed to be.
Passion, In Pursuit
I decided on a writing retreat abroad. It would combine my love for travel while testing the water to see if I would enjoy writing. I came across a writers’ retreat in Paris facilitated by New York Time’s Bestselling author Wendy Goldman Rohm. It was the most inspiring event I had ever attended. And a life-defining moment for me. Paris is the city of love. It’s there where I can say I completely fell in love with writing.
When I returned to Canada after the retreat, I could not stop writing at every spare moment. I wrote about anything and everything. Each day before work and after work, and even during my lunch breaks. I finally quit my job as a financial advisor to be a full-time writer.
Writing spoke to me and for me. It was my journey to self. Since then, I make an annual pilgrimage to Paris. The place where I came home to myself.
Like any old city, Paris has lots of history. It has a way of transporting you to another time, bringing back memories of my grade twelve English classes with Mr. Mansley, who walked with a limp.
Yes, there is the Eiffel Tower, the Notre Dame Cathedral, and the Seine River.
What draws me to Paris are ghosts of literary giants. Whose works I read in grade twelve English classes. Writers such as Ernest Hemmingway, Allen Ginsberg, and Jack Kerouac. Men who walked those very streets in Paris some seventy years ago. As if their brilliance would rub off on me in some way.
I smile when I picture them discussing their manuscripts while sipping their morning coffee at Cafe Les Deux Magots. And people-watching. As far as I was concerned, there is nowhere I would want to people-watch than in Paris. The likes of Jean-Paul Sartre and Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, and Allen Ginsberg making their way to Cafe de Flore. As if these ghosts lurked the streets of St. Germain.
Writing has also led me to deal with the ghosts that lay within. To confront the enormous pain that needed a voice. More than just a lifeline, writing frees, nourishes, and empowers me. Writing now allows me to do the same for others.
I will continue my annual pilgrimage to Paris. In gratitude to that writer’s retreat in Paris that changed the course of my entire life. Writing provided an avenue to acquaint me with who I am. And the pain within dissipated.
This post contains affiliate links. I may receive a commission (at no extra cost to you) for products and services sold.
After a long career in banking and finance, Jennifer is living her dream – traveling to beautiful places around the world, writing, and helping others – individuals and businesses – achieve values-driven success. For a consultation to manifest life on your terms or to self-publish, or to launch your business around your passions and expertise, contact Jennifer at firstname.lastname@example.org
Please Sign Up for my Money Mastery Course
Take The 21 Day Challenge to re-script your life to one of abundance.
Jennifer has written numerous books on money: Women and Money: 7 Principles Every Woman Needs to Know to Be Financially Prepared in Any Economy and Growing Up With Money: Raising Financially Resilient Kids in an Age of Uncertainty.