Paris, France

August 18, 2019

On Being Wrong

I was running through Paris one morning this week when suddenly, I was pulsed through - from my feet to my hair - with a sense of home.

How, despite not being a French citizen, and despite the things that drive me crazy, this city feels like the place I belong to the most.

And I thought back on how unlikely it is that I ever got to know it.

See, I used to low-key hate Paris. For years, I saw it as some kind of pretentious snoot-ball of dog poop, cigarettes, and rude people who took baguettes far too seriously. (Full disclosure: I now take baguettes far too seriously.)

Then, almost decade ago now, I started dating someone who'd lived in France for a few years, who had a kind of irresistible style I couldn't place (spoiler: it was French.) One day, they said, "Hey, I have a work trip to Paris for a few weeks. Want to tag along?"

Being super, super into this person, I put aside my disdain for all things France and said, in my best totally-cool voice, "yeah, sure."

Then I got here. And within 24 hours, I fell in love.

I have never been happier to have been completely, utterly wrong.

But the funny thing is - this exact thing has happened to me more times than I can count.

I thought yoga was dumb and completely not my thing until I spent a few weeks doing it at home and fell utterly in love with it.

I hated Chinese food until I had a proper mapo doufu and then spent the next two years learning to cook every Sichuan and Hunan recipe I could get my hands on.

Same goes for perfume, scarves, coffee, beer, nearly every genre of music, theatre, dress shoes, modern dance, tabletop role-playing games, and a list I could keep going on for the better part of an hour.

Almost all the things I love now I had either disinterest or disdain for (and almost no first-hand knowledge), only to have a lucky break introduce them to me.

It reminds me of how it easy it is to convince ourselves that something we don't know is bad.

And it makes me want to survey my life, look in all the nooks and crannies for things I absolutely would not be caught dead doing.

Because if I've learned anything, that's where all the best stuff is hiding. :)

Have an unexpected week,

-Steven

p.s. The best thing I saw all week was this glimpse into the rapidly shifting and human world of creativity in Shenzhen - where circuitboards and oil paintings share a surprising connection.

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