c’est la vie at 33

I turned 33 last week.

Each year I decide to recognize the gift God has given me and celebrate the day He and my parents collectively brought me onto this earth.

It’s been a tough ride.. especially these past few years but I am eternally thankful each and every day that I am able to open these little brown eyes of mine and see another one through. 

When it came time to plan for this year’s festivities, I just wasn’t in the mood. It’s like that sometimes.. life just gets the better of you. Everyone kept asking me what I was doing and/or where I was going because those who know me know that the seventh of July, is a BIG deal. Huge. but as the weeks passed on by and the days came closer to THE day, I had nothing. and zero motivation.

But then one morning, I woke up and remembered I’ve always wanted to go to Paris.

Views from the bottom of the Eiffel Tower (Photo by: Nataya Unique)

I had been planning a trip earlier this year to go with a friend, but that fell through and I had abandoned the idea.. but on this day, and in that moment, it seemed like the ONLY thing for me to do for my birthday. 

Especially this year.. this year will be my Jesus Year.  

Now I know what you’re thinking.. Taya, what the hell?! I KNOW you’re not comparing yourself to God’s only begotten son..

Nah, I’m not.

The Jesus Year is actually reference to the newly recognized symbolic year of growth and the pursuit of BadAssness.

(oops, Sorry Jesus)

It’s usually interpreted as an Eat, Pray, Love type thing. So as 25 is when the quarter life crisis comes and 30 is a milestone year when you reach 33 it seems like a strange, yet completely appropriate time to stop, reflect, and regroup. I don’t know.. its something about living in the times that we are, with things shifting so quickly and life not being being promised and all that, that makes me cherish every freakin one of the 365 days I make it through on my journey around the sun each year.

Especially after 30.

Yall.. 30 was a THING. I mean, there’s nothin like hit a mile marker in life and not being in the place you thought you would be.. *le sigh*

So 33.. 33 is special because it’s supposed to be a time when people embrace the “self reflection” part of life. A time for rebirth, remembering what really matters, and doing good for yourself and others.

All kinds of deep, introspective type shit.

And with that in mind I decided to my Beautiful, aging self to France.

The City of Love.


A place that I could fall in love with myself and Life again.

When I got off the plane I felt the buzz. And reality hit like a golden sack of bricks. I was in a foreign country.. on my own.. and it was my Birthday. 

All the feels.

And after losing half a day on an over night flight (where i got maybe 2 to 3 hours of sleep?) I was surprisingly ready. Ready for all of this. Ready for this journey on my own. 

On the Metro in Paris

I hopped off the plane, made it to the hotel and took just enough time out to shower and change. And then, having only been on European soil for a few hours, (and Jetlagged as all hell) I made a beeline for the Metro and soon found myself looking up at the one of most iconic landmarks in the world.

After getting over the overwhelming rush of emotions and letting a few droplets fall, (yes.. I was a bit emotional) I paused and took it all in. I looked around the base of the Eiffel Tower.

At the couple seated on the bench having a beer as they chatted..

The children flying planes and eating ice cream.. 

The African hustlers with lbs of merchandise around their necks and arms yelling out “one euro!”..

The fellow tourists taking selfies and pictures..

Sure, I would of loved to of shared this moment with the people I loved or even someone special.. but I wasn’t. And I realized that in that moment, that was Ok.

I leaned against the brick wall, with the Seine River behind me, and felt my soul rebooting. 

I did something scary. I took a step out into the world. Just Me.

..and everything was Ok. 

Such is Life.

P.S. I came back to the Eiffel on my last day.. It was still pretty Magical.

Last night in Paris.. Had to say goodbye to “La Dame”

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