The Small Things

October 29, 2019

Today’s blog post comes to us from API blogger Olivia Modarelli! She’s taking a gap year abroad in Paris, France.

When my mom sent me a package filled with Cheerios & Kraft macaroni, she wrote “The small things in life are the best.”

Reminding me of home, these foods bring with them an amount of emotion and comfort that I find quite impressive for a little box of food to carry… but after all, the little things in life really are the best. And I find this to be true even on a scale as large and significant as Paris! I find myself mesmerized by the most unlikely things here, and I’m finding that this is all part of the fun! 

For example, while at the Palace of Versailles, one of my favorite pictures I took was not of the grand Hall of Mirrors or anything as outwardly remarkable.

Instead my favorite is of one of the intricately decorated walls.

It reminds me a lot of the music room we have at home and as we call it, the “French Room”. One of the things I’ve learned here is if you feel happy, you should sit with that feeling no matter how insignificant the cause seems. Don’t move on to the next piece of art or the next building because it is supposed to be more extraordinary or well known. Allow yourself to fully experience the things that make you happy.

A perfect example of this is my audition for the Moulin Rouge!

It was an absolutely incredible experience but one of the things that made me really realize what I had just done and accomplished is so ridiculous when looked at from an outside perspective.

I watched a video uploaded by Glam, Inc. many years ago about what it’s like to work for the Moulin Rouge. In the video the main dancer goes out to lunch with a friend before the show and gets French toast at Rouge Bis. Something about that French toast must have really struck me when I was little because I did not leave the area until I found it. The French toast is what tied it all together. My childhood dreams were coming true and something as small as a piece of toast was making me realize it! 

My last example comes from one of my favorite places in France thus far — Strasbourg!

This photo shows the subtle differences between German (left) and French (right) architecture. Both are very important to the history of the city, and it’s the subtlety with which such a rich history of turmoil and confusion is expressed that is so interesting to me. 

Throughout my time in France so far, I have really learned to appreciate the small things that make the world a little brighter and I encourage myself and everyone to take this mentality wherever we go, finding room for happiness wherever we are!


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