Don't Be "The Girl Who Didn't Go to Paris"

It’s natural to want to stay connected to other people. You want to live near your friends and family, and when you’re part of a couple you have to make choices that work for both of you. But I’ve realized that building your life around others is not always possible, nor is it wise. There’s a difference between incorporating other people into your plans and putting your agenda completely on hold for them.

Lately I’ve been considering a move (I’ve lived in this place my whole life, would like to be closer to my company, and also would like to avoid a never-ending winter) but it’s definitely been an internal struggle for me. I’m so excited about the possibility of moving, and am completely ready to see a new place. I would love to get to spend more time with my co-workers. However, I’m trying to figure out how to balance the desire for a change of scenery with the knowledge that I’ll have to be further away from my boyfriend, friends, and family members. I also don’t love the prospect of a long distance relationship. It’s not an easy choice, and it’s one that’s been keeping me up at night. This is only worsened by the fact that whenever I tell anyone my plans they exclaim, “What about your family!? You’ll be so far away! What about Chris!?” The choice isn’t an easy one.

However, when I look at how fluid my friends’ lives are (one is moving to London in September for school) it makes me realize that, at the end of the day, you have to do what you’ll feel good about. It may be difficult at the beginning, but the world is much more connected now. You can get on a plane or drive somewhere. If you don’t have the money to fly regularly, you can still FaceTime and talk to your loved ones frequently. It’s not as good as seeing them face to face, but there’s no need to feel completely separated from them just because you’ve relocated.

Also: while you’re staying in one place so you can be near friends or family, there’s a chance that they’re working on moving or creating other plans that aren’t based on your wants and wishes. Ultimately, you are solely responsible for your own happiness. You may not have total control over your decisions (for financial or other reasons) but it’s up to you to make a choice that you can look back on and feel good about. Consider how your decisions will impact other people, but you also can’t let your loved ones act as the puppet master of your life.

When it comes to my move, I just don’t want to be known as “the girl who didn’t go to Paris.” If you watched The Hills, you know what I mean. Lauren Conrad passed up a dream opportunity in Paris to spend the summer with her boyfriend. They ended up breaking up shortly after. I don’t want anyone to say that “she’ll always be known as the girl who didn’t go to Paris” like Lisa Love says to Lauren in this clip.

I want to build my family and friends into my life, but also need to know that I did all of the exploring and adventuring that I wanted to do while I was young and still able to enjoy it.


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  1. I’m totally starting to be afraid of being the girl who didn’t go to Paris! I moved quite a bit growing up (5 school systems by the time I graduated high school), and I always thought I wanted to be settled. I absolutely love Indiana and it’s the place that feels the most like home to me, but lately I’ve been wondering how I would feel if I never moved again. Honestly it seems a little terrifying. There are so many other great places out there! Mostly in my situation, though, I’m not really building my life around other people but what I’ve been establishing here. I run twentysomething Indy and as a result have kind of become one of young professional voices of the city, and I would feel terrible leaving because I’ve written about/championed the city numerous times and people know me for doing so. It would be a tough decision.

  2. Courtney says:

    Lauren, I may be a little bias seeing as how I work with you and would be super excited to have you down here – but I completely know what you’re going through. When Amanda offered me the position to move from Michigan to North Carolina, it was scary. I was leaving my parents, my dogs, and all my friends – not to mention a job I loved but was growing restless at. Yes, my sister and much of the family that I am much closer to live down here in the South than up in Michigan but it was still a scary thought of getting out of the comfortable life I had always lived to move to a completely new city and start a new life for myself. Yet, I don’t regret it at all. I’m so glad that I did pick up and move when I was young rather than wait till it was harder to get away. Sure, I don’t get to see my parents all the time but when I do it is so much sweeter, plus I’m sure they’re happy to have me out – and they have another reason to come to the South to get away from the cold. It’s a huge decision, but Charlotte is such a wonderful city, filled with young professionals and so much to do. I just always knew that I didn’t want to be one of those people that Trenton (my hometown) is famous for. The ones who grow up there, go away to college and end up coming back to the city to live blocks away from their parents only to spend their life in the same city – which by the way – is totally boring. Again, may be a bit bias.

  3. I’m having a hard time trying to move out. I have always dreamed that one day I can move out from my family and live on my own. Independently and financially. I feel like I want to escape my past, my painful memories and moving on to a new life on my own. And yet, I’m stuck. I’m near to my mid twenties, I’m studying for my very last semester at university and I’m unemployed. Personally, I don’t know what to do with my life except I just want to leave my past behind. Sometimes, I just self-absorbed with sadness that I never accomplish something better. My family keeps telling me to finish studying, find a job, get married and start a family. But I don’t care about those things because I feel that they are not important to me anymore. And moving out is the only option I can think of. Life is tough for me to do something good and happy for myself. So yeah, I think I am the girl who didn’t go to Paris. I will be stuck here with my family and my hometown, and be miserable for the rest of my life

  4. Lauren, I love the message of this post. Genuine happiness is self-generated. We all have a responsibility to ourselves to make the decisions that will make us happiest, regardless of our relationships with other people. I hope you get yourself to Paris (if you haven’t already) or wherever it is that makes you happy.

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