Friday, October 3, 2014

Paris in 5 Seconds Or Less


      Stop what you are doing, close your eyes, and think. What did you think about – a situation at school, a bill you have forgotten to pay, the stress of work? Regardless, you just wasted five seconds of your life, gone, never to be retained again. What are we doing in life? Are you living for a purpose? I mean, there is a reason that you are reading this blog at this very moment, right? Or did you just happen to be surfing the internet and the title caught your attention? These are the same questions that I have begun to ask myself on a daily basis. What is my purpose in life?
Wikimedia Commons: Philippe

Wikimedia Commons: Leo Gonzales
      This question has often been directed towards me by my parents; however, not until recently have I begun to formulate a serious answer. Even as a young girl, I have always been fascinated with architecture and construction projects. From transforming cardboard boxes into mini-dollhouses to using 3-D design programs to sketch eco-friendly homes, architecture has long been the underlying theme of my creative ventures. A couple weeks ago, I was given the opportunity to travel abroad – destination: “The City of Lights”. Paris boasts some of the most culturally vibrant and artistically stunning buildings in the world. The arches and stained windows of the Notre Dame cathedral speak of the mystery and of the reverence of the medieval era; while, the glowing white crosses on the beaches of Normandy usher in a somber reverence for the sacrifices made on D-Day. Concerning architecture, my goal for the future of construction in America is to identify the aspects specific to a country’s culture and incorporate them into the buildings which I design. Thus, a trip to Paris introduces a vital opportunity for me to immerse myself in European culture (specifically that of Paris), and experience first hand the mysteries and subtleties enveloped in the daily lives of the average French citizen.

      My research on Paris has brought me directly to the sophistication of the Belle Epoque era. I was specifically intrigued by the rejection of tradition and the emphasis on human pleasure and freedom, displayed in the cabarets, best described as sophisticated night clubs complimented by circus, dance, and theatre. “Out with the old, in with new,” I laughed to myself. Such institutions turned commercial advertisement into an art, as businessmen began to experiment with the use of bold words, small words, and multiple colors to promote their businesses. In addition, my mouth watered when I discovered that the French culinary delicacy, the macaron, became famous through the growing popularity of tea salons and pastry shops, specifically Ladurée, during this period. The Belle Epoque is also known as the “Beautiful Age”, particularly because due to the economic success of the country of France, allowing the middle and lower class to enjoy luxuries such as running water, gas, electricity, and good plumbing. However, I distinctively enjoyed the attention placed on the ideals of naturalism and realism by the writers during this period. In contrast to the use of literature by previous authors to question the government, Guy de Maupassant placed a comedic emphasis on real life situations through poetry and multiple short stories.

      So, here is where we revert back to my original question. What is my purpose in life? If anyone had asked me that question a couple months ago, I would not have been able to give a straight answer, but now I am confident. My purpose is to live beyond my wildest dreams, to explore, to seek for the challenges in life and to overcome them, to travel, to build, and to take advantage of opportunities and to make my imaginations reality. There, five minutes of your life is gone, but this time it was not wasted. What is your purpose in life?


athyniah salvatore said...

Wow, I really like your blog. I like how you grabbed the readers attention, good job.

Dazhawna miller said...

you did amazing

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