Paris – The Beginning

Eiffel Bridge Sunset 2

“I have a dream, a fantasy
To help me through reality
And my destination makes it worth the while
Pushing through the darkness, still another mile…”

If I had to choose one theme song that would define the last year of my life, this would be it. I’d never actually thought about it and I definitely did not stand up on my desk in my cubicle at work to spontaneously burst into song (that happens only in Abba musicals). But I recently found myself quietly humming this to myself on a quiet street as I waited to meet some new friends. I stopped and looked around and quickly drew in a deep breath as I realized that I was finally living my dream – I was in Paris! Not as a tourist, not on a short layover as I traveled for work, but as a bona fide resident.

Chairs outside cafe Coll

This post has taken me a long time to write – literally and metaphorically speaking. Usually when I conceptualize a post, it begins with some research, then comes the actual implementation and finally the finishing touches. Rarely does a post have me changing the course of my life (which is hyperbolic but true nevertheless). A year ago, I was sitting in an office in front of a computer screen analyzing business requirement flows, while actually wanting to be in my kitchen as I day-dreamed of the next confection I wanted to create. I baked for family, for friends, for people at work and only smiled as they joked about me changing my profession. But there comes a point in time when you really have to take a good hard look at your life and decide if it is the one you want.

Louvre Palace 1

Someone once told me that life is a matter of choices. If you want to live, choose. And so I did. I applied to ESCF Ferrandi, the French School of Culinary Arts that I had been cyber-stalking for the past 3 years. I sent in my application and waited with bated breath until 4 months later I received an email with those magic words “We are pleased to inform you…” I had been lucky enough to be accepted into a small group of 24 students, who would be learning the art of pastry and bread baking for the next one year. I informed my bosses and colleagues that I was leaving and to my great surprise, they could not be more excited or supportive.

Pl St George Night Collage

I held the news close to my heart, because when you’ve wanted something for so long, you can’t help but be superstitious about it. It took some time for the news to sink in as I swung between pure elation and utter panic at what I was doing. But here I am – writing this post from my apartment in Paris. This is my life, right here, right now. And I intend to savor every minute of it.

Bon Appetit!

Cafe et Croissant

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31 Responses to Paris – The Beginning

  1. vicky says:

    So happy for you!! Wishing you all the very best.

  2. Jovita says:

    Wow, this sounds awesome! Here’s wishing you all the best for your course and future endeavours, keep the blogs and great recipes coming :)

  3. Hash says:

    Wonderful!!! Congrats!!!

  4. Ad says:

    Ur back!!!! Awesome!

  5. Jyoti says:

    Proud of u my dear…May all ur dreams be fulfilled & hope that we get to eat ur Chocolate Mousse Cake again..& visit u in Paris..

  6. Liren says:

    I gasped in awe and admiration when I read this! I am so thrilled for you and your new life! Good for you for following your dreams. Congratulations!

  7. Joan Nova says:

    This is a very well-written and illustrated post and a happy one at that. Congratulations for living the dream and best wishes!

  8. tiffintales says:

    Thanks Joan! I am indeed happy! : )

  9. So happy for you Heena! I’ll be in Paris for the entire month of July working on a few things – would love to catch up with you – how ironic that we never met in Toronto but most likely will in Paris!

  10. LiztheChef says:

    Wow – I wondered what had happened with you and am so glad to hear of this incredible life change! All the best and keep us all posted, when you have a chance!

    • tiffintales says:

      Ya I know! It feels like I disappeared for a bit, but there were so many things to put into place. I’m glad to start writing again now that things are settling down a bit.

  11. Tandy says:

    it is wonderful when we can live out our dreams!

  12. Congratulations! Life is too short not to do what you love. Enjoy your time in Paris and I look forward to hearing your tales:-)

    • tiffintales says:

      Thank you! It’s great to start writing again now that things have settled down and to reconnect with all you wonderful people.

      More tales coming soon : )

  13. Heena, I am SO happy for you. You are right, I was wondering why you had dropped off the blogisphere. Now I understand why. You were busy following your dream. What an amazing opportunity! Best of luck to you!

    Your Canadian Mom,

    • tiffintales says:

      Dear Canadian Mom,

      I am so happy to reconnect with you : )

      Ya, things had got pretty busy and there was just so much up in the air. Plus I didn’t really want to say anything about this until everything was in place. But thankfully, it all worked out and here I am baking and writing again. I hope to share many more stories with you.

      Warmest Regards,

  14. Congrats on your acceptance! What a life changing event! I hope it’s everything your stalking has led you to believe! :)

  15. mindy says:

    Wow, amazing news! What an incredible experience and good for you for having the guts to do it.

  16. Bon jour Heena! this does sound indeed like a dream… don’t wake up and savor and extra croissant with cafe’ au lait in the process! cute window sill.

  17. Heena…what an amazing and wonderful opportunity! Sigh! What a chance to experience a once in a lifetime dream–and you went for it. Good for you! I’m looking forward to hearing/reading about your adventures in Paris. Congratulations!

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