M A R I E

 Paris | 2017

M A R I E

City  Paris
Age  26
Love life  Engaged
Profession  3D Infographic Designer and Scenographer
Years in Paris
Location  Jardin des Tuileries

 

T H E  P A R I S  S T O R I E S

‘THE WOMAN

I AM NOW 

IS FIGHTING WITH 

THE SHY GIRL

I WAS’

  • What makes you really happy?
    “When I was younger, I was always looking for ultimate happiness like finding that one true love. With the years my view on happiness has changed. I’ve learned that happiness is everywhere. It’s now, this moment, this day. Not tomorrow or ten years from now when this or that might get better. Now I enjoy the small things in life. Like staying at home with my cat and drinking hot chocolate in the winter or taking a walk with my boyfriend in the summer.”
  • What is your best personality trait?
    “My creativity. Being able to create something is a beautiful thing. When I was a child, I played violin and saxophone and I practiced lyrical singing. I starred in some operas, and I drew and painted. I try to continue doing those things now. Every day I try to keep in mind what I learned during my studies: ‘Every child is an artist, the problem is how to remain an artist when we grow up’. It’s a quote from Picasso.”
  • What makes you different than other people?
    “When you live in a big city like Paris, you might feel tempted to fit into the profile of the typical Parisian girl. That can be about the way you act, the places you hang out, the clothes you wear… For example, when you walk on the street, ten women with the exact same shirt with blue and white stripes will cross your path. It’s a joke and I think it is important to get rid of this. I try to discover new places and get out of my usual social circle. I want to stay open to what life can offer and be as spontaneous as possible.”

  • What is your biggest struggle in life?
    “To find a place in the art world. I have to fight to create room for myself. I have to let the art scene know who I am and what I have to offer. It’s hard to network all the time and prove to everyone that I am the right person for the job. Sometimes I kill it, but sometimes I am tired of sending millions of emails in the morning. I hope that after a year or two, I will have proven myself and the right people will trust me and my work and then this struggle will be gone.”
  • What is the biggest lesson life has taught you so far?
    “Dare to follow your heart. During my last years of studying architecture my struggle was should I stay or go? What I was doing didn’t make me happy. My heart said go, but my mind said I should stay. I was almost finished with my study, and teachers and other students told me that it was a big mistake to leave. But in the end I always choose my own happiness. So I listened to my heart and quit. When something doesn’t feel good anymore, stop doing it. But that is not a quick progress. It’s like two sides of my personality are fighting with each other: the shy young lady I was and the woman I am now who knows exactly what she wants and stepped out of the box she was in.”
  • What is your biggest disappointment in life?
    “When you don’t hear anything anymore from friends you were very fond of. When I love someone, I love them unconditionally and give everything. So it makes me sad when you send a lot of messages and your friends just don’t respond anymore. I don’t understand this.”
  • What advice would you give other women in Europe?
    “If you want something, just try it! Jump of the bridge and think: ok, what will happen in the end? Just see if it works. You are so lucky if it does. And if it doesn’t, you never have to say you should have tried.”

 

  • What are you insecure about?
    “I feel a bit insecure about my company, wondering if I will have enough work. But those small insecurities are nothing compared to what you see on the news. After the terrorist attacks in Paris, my mum begged me to stop taking the subway. But I don’t want to live like that, I don’t want to let those insecurities manage my life. But it already changed my life in a way. When I want to enter a museum, I have to wait for forty minutes because of all the security measurements. Before the attacks you just went to the museum. I talk a lot about it with my friends, some of them are scared, but I think we just have to continue with our lives. Although that can be hard: two days ago a woman entered the subway with an apparently empty suitcase, but a lot of clothes on top of it. People were looking at her and asking her what she was doing with all that stuff. She answered she was just moving… Before this, you would never consider somebody else a danger. It’s sad to say, but you learn to live with those insecurities, it becomes normal. I still think about the Sunday after the attack on Charlie Hebdo. I felt so strongly that we had to resist, otherwise the terrorists would win. So together with more than a million other Parisians I walked in a march through the city. It was so strong and powerful. I had a feeling I never had before, about being Parisian and being together.”
  • What is your biggest dream or ultimate goal in life?
    “Two years ago I would have responded that I wanted to be a successful business woman, but now I realize that chasing the best positions doesn’t necessarily make me happy. I just want to find my place in the world and live a life that makes me happy. If I have to choose between working all evening or spending it with my family or friends, I would choose them. We only have one life.”
  • What does Paris mean to you?
    “For me it’s the city of my adult life. I constructed my life here. I am me here. I arrived here when I was eighteen years old and it was love at first sight. I love Paris most in the morning, around seven or eight I like to go to Jardin des Tuileries, order a coffee and take a seat in the park and smell this particular smell. I don’t know how to describe it – some people say Paris smells bad – but for me it’s a nice smell. And when you see that really special light above the Louvre museum in the summer… Yes, early in the morning when you feel like you are alone in the city, that’s a magical moment for me. Although I can be a real Parisienne and complain about everything: that it’s raining, that I am out of sugar, that my cat’s hairs are all over my clothes…”

Photos by Hélène Koch

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