Dear Reader,

I suppose that I should start at the very beginning-- with giving you all the little details about my first day here and then my second and then my third-- each mundane event of every day. However, I do not want to start at the beginning. I want to start at the dome of the Sacred Heart church-- Le Sacre Coeur. This was where I first felt truly alive, fully realizing that I was actually in Paris-- the city that I had dreamed of visiting ever since I can remember.

The view was astounding-- colorful buildings, shops, boutiques, cafes, the Eiffel tower, Champs Elysees, blue skies, a light breeze. I remember walking about the dome in an attempt to absorb everything around me, from the view outside the church to the church itself, as well as the numerous graffitti carved by previous visitors who had also stopped to enjoy the scenery. I remember being particularly interested in a rhyme etched onto the stone seating in black marker:

"La vie est belle et vous etes comme elle."
"Life is beautiful and you are like her."

This was the exact moment when I realized what Paris meant to me-- this opportunity, this view, this very point in my life. I knew then that I would make the most of it. I would do everything that I wanted to do. There would be no limits. There was something in the breeze that day, something in the air of Montmarte, something about standing at the very top of the Sacre Coeur, something about reading that line of grafitti, that made me feel strong, even independent.

My letters to you, whoever you might be, will strive to express each of those little moments that are unforgettable, those unique, nontraditional, odd moments that are fleeting but everlasting.

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