#51 Sacrifice your own happiness for someone else’s.

“When good Americans die, they go to Paris.”
―Oscar Wilde

The greatest injustice in my life was not being born a Parisian. I had the opportunity to visit two years ago, and the moment I stepped off the crowded tour bus onto the Champs-Élysées, I was in love.

A few months ago, my favourite trans-atlantic friend messaged me to tell me she got a sweet contract in Paris and would be living there in a swanky flat until the new year. I immediately booked a ticket to visit. Dreams of croissants, cafes, patisseries, red wine, cobblestone streets, cinemas and baguettes got me through my monotonous workdays, as I counted down the days to my trip.

A few days ago, I reached out to my cousin who has been going through a hell of a year. We’ve been talking every day since, despite the 5-hour time difference between us. Though things haven’t been exactly “peachy” on my end, my issues are peanuts compared to what she’s dealing with.

I knew she would like nothing more than for me to visit and help her sift through this goddamn mess, but I had already used up all my remaining vacation time on a non-refundable trip to Paris.

I struggled for a few days, but in the end, my conscience won out. I drained the remainder of my Aeroplan points and gave up my trip.

In a way, this has simultaneously been my easiest and hardest act of kindness. I know this is the right thing to do but I would also love nothing more than to eat baguettes with cheese all day.

Oh well, c’est la vie!

P.S. Damn you Expedia and your rigid cancellation policies.

Total Kindness Cost: $900 + 140,000 Aeroplan points

365daysofkindness

7 Comments

  1. I hope the happiness of doing the right thing outshines the sting of visiting Paris. 🙂 I’m so impressed that you have that up for your cousin, you have a heart of gold and are a true inspiration to me.

    • Ah, heart of gold is an overstatement but thank you for continuing to follow and share your thoughts!

      And now that I’ve had a few hours to sit with it – and hearing her reaction to the news of my visit – it definitely outshines all the baguettes that Paris has to offer. 🙂

  2. Hi there young lady! I subscribed to your blog just today. I found you while stumbling around in WP to learn about blogging. I wanted to check out some exanples to help me get started. The word kindness caught my eye because I was looking for inspirational/spiritual sites. I was hugely impressed with your project and read several posts, including #1. But …
    I have a problem with a few of your choices of “adjectives”.They just seem to be out of context in such a sweet and admirable project. However I really enjoy reading your posts and was looking forward to today’s. You are a good wordsmith and provocative writer. Now…
    so that you understand my one negative remark, please understand this about me. I have been an octogenarian for four years. I am a church elder, follower of Jesus. and sometimes preacher. Having said that, please undetstand this too. I do not condemn or shun people with whom I do not always agree with. I am just an old sinner, blessed and sustained by God’s grace. I wish you continued success with your blog and I will be reading and learning from your clever shaping of your thoughts.
    Oh. I have not published anything yet. Hope to break through in a day or two. Reg

    • Hi Reg,

      I am very flattered that you describe my writing as a clever shaping of my thoughts – I really enjoyed your take on it.

      I respect your opinion and imagine that there may be quite a few people out there who have a problem with some of my choice adjectives, but believe that good writing (and that is what I’m hoping that it is) can only be accomplished through using an authentic voice.

      It took me a really long time to develop authenticity in my writing style and it was only when I stopped censoring myself that I began to enjoy reading back what I was putting down on paper (or in this case, typing onto the screen).

      This being said, I take absolutely no offense to your comment. On the contrary, I appreciate you stopping by and leaving your candid thoughts!

  3. This is a lovely blog and idea. I feel your paris pain – I’ve just returned from a year living there and I miss it so much – but more, I admire your values and strength of character in taking this decision. Possibly you wouldn’t have enjoyed your trip much anyway knowing that your cousin was suffering all those thousands of miles away. Maybe you can bring the spirit of Paris to your cousin? Get some nice pastries… A simple bunch of flowers… Take time to stroll in a beautiful park… These things are deeply Parisian yet can be easily transferred to other locations!
    All power to you, kind person.

    • Thanks, Catherine. I actually LOVE that idea. I will bring Paris to her! Never thought of that. And yes, in the end I feel very comfortable with my decision. Thanks so much for stopping by! ❤️

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