Midnight and Alone (not lonely) in Paris

It’s 10pm on a Tuesday night in Hollywood and I’m sitting on my couch, alone, watching Midnight in Paris. I’ve seen the movie before. Many times, actually. And, to me, it never gets old. It’s Woody Allen’s beautiful love letter to Paris. And it’s less creepy because he’s not actually IN it.

I think of all the friends I’d like to go to Paris with and how they can’t go for various reasons. Scratch that. I think of like 2 people I’d actually go with because I’d probably end up pushing the others off the Eiffel Tower. It would be a beautiful way to go.

I can’t go alone, I think. I’m single and 40. SINGLE AND 40. Look at me now!

And Paris is the city of love. I mean, I wouldn’t even enjoy it, right? I’d just walk around the city crying into my baguette. Just the thought of it made me anxious. And then I felt anxious about feeling anxious.

So I did what any normal 40-year-old person filled with anxiety would do: I got online and started researching flights.

By one in the morning the arrow on my MacBook was hovering over the purchase button. Taunting me. Laughing at me. Flights, hotel, car (to and from the airport!) are all just a click away. My heart races. My palms sweat. I take a drink of La Croix (pronounced La KWAH because, hello, I’m going to France!), think about how ridiculous this is, and I pull the trigger. Not on the gun beside my bed. I’m going to Paris.

I think I slept two hours that night. I imagined all the worst possibilities:

dying in a fiery plane crash while listening to French café music
falling into the Seine river after drinking too much Côtes du Rhône

having the trip exacerbate my anxiety by amplifying that I’m all ALONE

Then I decided to let it all go and imagine myself…

peacefully sitting in a cafe, alone, listening to French café music
sipping a glass of Côtes du Rhône by the Seine

putting my anxiety to rest because traveling alone is empowering

These were lovely thoughts and ones that I would hold in my mind until I finally fell asleep. After all, is it that hard to focus on best case instead of the worst? The answer is yes. A resounding yes. But with some practice, some deep breathing, and a little more French café music, it’s totally possible.

Which brings me to this blog. Almost everyone I know deals with anxiety at some point in their life, but nobody really likes to talk about it. And as I’ve gotten older, my anxiety has only gotten worse. I thought I’d have this shit figured out by the beginning of my life. Ya know, life begins at 40, right?

So I decided to do something about it. Write about it. Travel about it. Tell my friends about it. Tell strangers about it. And here I am.

Brandon Trips.

Trips to different cities, countries, restaurants, and bars. Trips across the street to the grocery store which is a big deal because sometimes my anxiety is so bad I can’t even leave my apartment. Trips through single life. And trips through my 40s. Sometimes I’ll trip and fall, but I will always get back up.

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