I don’t know when it started but it seems all my life my dad has called me "sunshine". That’s
supposedly me, the happy and bubbly one, laughing and smiling, a ray of light in everyone else’s
day. But those are big shoes to fill too, sometimes they feel a little too big. Like recently, when
returning home from vacation was harder than expected. While away, plans had fallen through and
expectations in work, love, and general didn’t quite meet reality. Yes, even in Paris, life can
be less than dazzling at times, and the way I’ve been feeling started to show. The only thing more
tough than being down is everyone expecting you to be bright and cheery.
Last week my dad said to me “You’ve got to cheer up sunshine, you have an amazing job in the
most beautiful city in the world!”. He’s absolutely right. It’s not easy to forget but feeling it isn’t
always so simple. This little rut has been hard to kick, but slowly and surely I’ve reminded myself
happiness is a choice and each day’s magic moments helps.
Like yesterday evening when I went to pick up a package at the post office from Lancôme. I sat
down at the sidewalk café on the corner and opened it up to find the new La Vie Est Belle L’Éclat
eau de parfum inside. I took the flacon out of its sparkly box, placed it on the table, and began
marvelling at its multifaceted design. “I bought this perfume for my wife!” said the waiter smiling as
he passed by. “She adores it…la vie est belle! ”. I thought of what a nice gesture that was, how
happy it must have made her to receive something so beautiful. Instantly a smile started to return
to my face too. There it was, something as small as a beautiful fragrance, as simple as joy from a
stranger, a little spark that began to illuminate everything in my path for the rest of the day.
As I left and walked towards the 7th arrondissement it was like each moment of my day from here
on out was more beautiful. I opened the bottle and brought it to my nose, the jasmine, freesia, and
orange blossom notes radiating joy. As I passed the Eiffel Tower the clock struck ten and it began
to sparkle. Suddenly I was overcome with a dazzling emotion, something I hadn’t felt in a few
weeks as I let myself dwell in the difficulties of life — the joy of being alive.
What I want to say is that in life it’s all part of it, to feel the ups and the downs - and that’s okay. But
through it all, happiness is a choice — let it in, stay open. If you do, you will find there is light in each
day, and each brighter than the last. L’éclat in French means sparkle, to be luminous, to be radiant,
to shine. Be that light for others and let them be it for you, in a smile, a gesture, a fragrance…the
choice is up to you and I say choose the light of happiness and you will see life is beautiful. I’ll put
on my new fragrance this way each morning to remind me of just that…