Golden Cities And Blushing People

Dear Reader,

I have neglected this blog. Big time. And I could throw out excuses (and I think I will anyways so you have some sort of explanation and I will feel vindicated in a weird way) but that would in no way make up for the three months I have not updated this little corner of the internet. Basically, here go my excuses: I was busy falling in love – with a country already in love with art, with golden cities, with blurry nights, with rain-glazed roof tops, and with glowing, blushing people.

I suppose I should re-introduce myself. Maybe because you have forgotten (a little bit) about the girl in the little black dress but also maybe because I am not the same person I was in March (the last time I wrote here). Hello. My name is Natalie. And I am 17. The past 9 months I have been in France studying french (shocker!). I still like peppermint tea and clear umbrellas and red daisies and funny socks. I still like strawberry ice cream and walking barefoot through grass and late night bubble baths. But I like new things too now.

I like going to loud concerts in Paris and spending lazy Saturdays in cafés that smell like fancy perfumes and cigarettes. I like rainy days more than ever, and I collect itchy sweaters. I also like lavender jam and writing stupid poetry and listening to Vampire Weekend on repeat.

I have been writing a lot lately. Mostly nonsense (and I won’t put the majority of it on the internet). But I can tell you this: the past 9 months in France were the best of my life thus far. And essentially out of fear of forgetting everything, I have been recording and thinking and reminiscing. And here is something I wrote in my journal last week to help you understand. I hope you will.

” So that’s how I got here, I guess. And I realized something today: that I will be okay. That one day I will look back and read these confused poems and trite letters and I will have forgotten what Wednesday nights were like in December and what it felt like to be 17. I will have forgotten the buckets of rain that pooled on my shoulders all the days my umbrella snapped. I will have forgotten Madison Avenue and Backstage and listening to 505 for hours in a bed that was too white.

I imagine that some day I will wear red lipstick and 2 inch heels and have a boss that smokes. And one day, I will pull this little black book (my journal) out from the back of my closet and I will read it and everything will seem childish and small. I guess that’s what makes me so sad. Because these things happened and they were important to me. Right now, they are everything.

There was a big, wooden house that I called home, and when it rained, the windows got blurry and I had to call the boy next door because I couldn’t see him from out my bedroom glass. There was a girl with golden hair and rose lips and she held me when I was okay. But also when I wasn’t. And there were 2 o’clock coffees and blue dresses and 3 ams spent with warm, pink people.

I hope I am wrong and that I won’t actually forget the white houses or the stupid boys or the spinning lights. But just in case I do and 30 year old me doesn’t remember what it was like to be 17, I need her (the Natalie wearing lipstick and a pencil skirt who lives in a big city) to know that we were dumb and alive; that we were glowing from the inside out

and that everything was green – the green that is so light its almost white but it’s not. Its green.”

I realize some of that may not make sense to you with no context but that is the just of how I am feeling right now. I’ve been looking at a lot of the photos I took in France recently and I want to share them with you. So in the next few days/weeks (hopefully it won’t take me too long), I am going to attempt to recount my year through photos/things I wrote that I feel okay putting on el internet. I hope all is well and that you haven’t completely forgotten about the girl in the little black dress.

XX, The Girl in the Little Black Dress

P.S. Listen to this song – Paris by Magic Man

P.P.S. Here’s a photo of the city I fell in love with. More to come.

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66 responses

  1. thanks for the update, it’s nice to hear what people are doing in real life. I enjoyed hearing your thoughts on life (and France).
    I was forced to keep a journal when I was in high school, I am so glad. I kept up the habit for a few years afterwards and every once in a while I find it and look back at those days. Wow. ;-)

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  2. Natalie, The old-folks at Filmbell are not telling you anything you don’t know, but…clutch tight your emotions, they’re the voltage of writing. Don’t allow creative machinery to overtake your own ongoing drama. Pour out scalding emotions, and let the world blow on your words until they cool. Even a finely-written book, of which it appears you might be capable, soon rings hollow without the author filling it with her own heartbeats and footsteps. But you seem to be in touch with your voltage, while living a full and engaging life, and we wish you happiness & satisfaction & security, and a million thrilling memories.

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  3. My goodness, you are a wonderful writer! I love this: “But just in case I do and 30 year old me doesn’t remember what it was like to be 17, I need her (the Natalie wearing lipstick and a pencil skirt who lives in a big city) to know that we were dumb and alive; that we were glowing from the inside out

    and that everything was green – the green that is so light its almost white but it’s not. Its green.”
    This is exquisite writing.

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  4. I enjoyed reading this both for content and for style. Don’t worry about finding your 17 year old writings “childish.” When you look back you will find that younger you and you will find delight and refreshment. :)

    Denise

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    • This is such a wonderful compliment thank you so much <3 TPOBAW is one of my favorite books/films. And yes I definitely had that letter in mind when I was writing this. Was feeling as nostalgic as I imagine he was when he wrote it xx

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  5. You will never forget, and it will never seem childish and small. I still have my portrait (charcoal drawing) that a street artist did in Montmartre in 1975 when I was very young. I remember it as if it were yesterday, and I still cherish the memories of Paris. I look forward to reading more of your work.

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  6. You are so wise beyond your years. Cherish this time. Record it in thought and picture. And trust me – you will not forget the important things, you might just see them a little differently.

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  7. A lovely and beautifully written post Natalie, i find the Girl in the Little Black Dress inspiring – and i have absolutely no doubt that your 30 year old self will look back and still agree with every point and choice you make now. You’re shaping your future, be proud of that :)
    – Confessions of a Teenage Girl x

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  8. Welcome back! I have been looking through your posts and it’s great to see someone who is so interested in fashion, it’s been very interesting to see. I have nominated you for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award :)

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  9. Hi Natalie!
    I want to say that you are in a word, darling. I’m 20 as of now, and you’ve inspired me to fill in the cracks of life with more frequent journaling. Thanks!

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  10. Hey Natalie, It’s nice to hear about your travels – reminds me of the year I spent in Belgium after High School. It was no doubt the time of my life, even if I did get a little bit softer around the edges (chocolate, frites and beer will do that!) Enjoy every moment! :)

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  11. Lovely post! French is a fab language. I am going to take a class in the Fall…..I am living in Italy, so I will have to learn French in Italian..ha, ha, ha…..anyway…once again…great post!

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  12. You are an extremely talented writer Natalie….would love to see some of your poems someday ( I write poetry myself)….anyway have a great day and keep writing my friend:)

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  13. You write quite well, Natalie! It’s not just the formation of the sentences and the choice of words; Your writing evokes memories and emotions, and that is great. Went back a little to when I was 17! Prefer my present! And no wonder You are in love with France. :)

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  14. Natalie, you won’t ever forget being seventeen and the magical time you spent in France. When you look back at your writings you will say “Well, I could write better and with a more polished style now, but – yes – I definitely had something, even then” (see comment from zdunno03 above). I still remember being seventeen and the writing I did then and I was 51 last birthday (and still writing!). Lovely post: I enjoyed it very much. I can almost smell and taste France through your words (Lavender jam?)

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  15. I am 31, and I kept my journal that I wrote when I was 17. I am so glad that I did, because that is a time in your life that you will want to remember, because it is a wonderful time, even in the times that seem bad. I love reading about the crazy times my friends and I had, the boys that I liked or even loved, and the musings that I had before I had to be a (somewhat) serious adult. Keep writing and having adventures that you’ll want to remember forever:)

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  16. Hey Natalie. :) I decided to check your site out. :) I love how you write. I love how you paint your words with the things that you see almost as if the reader is also seeing everything that you’re describing. This post made me smile. I understand neglecting your blog. I do it all the time! But with regret obviously. :) I hope to read more from you soon. :)

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  17. Well thats what i call a comeback…
    Im glad you back and Im sure this will not be your only trip overseas, you will have others and other journals to write to your future self and if not (and quoting casablanca…) We’ll allways have Paris…

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  18. I highly recommend getting a street artist to do a sketch of you and framing it. My single coolest possession is a charcoal sketch of my mother done when she was 20 years old living in Paris!

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  19. i LOVE Magic Man! You’re the first person I’ve met that knows them too :) I saw them in concert here in CA a couple months ago. I loved this post, so artistically written! :) I can’t wait to read more of your posts <3

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  20. I am 51 and I still remember the girl I was at 17. You will too. And when you can’t something like this blog post will come along and yank you back and you will, for a moment, see the world from your 17 year old eyes. You made me tear up and feel that amazing hopefullness, that only the young can feel, for a few minutes. Thank you.

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  21. You have a great ability of beautifully expressing yourself in words. Well-written post.
    I noticed that you took a hiatus between your previous post and this one and it seems like your birthday fell along the way. You might want to update your age in your About page :)

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  22. Very well written. For the record, 30 is amazing and much younger than you think it is when you’re 17. :-) So don’t be sad about it, you’ll be happy to be here when you get here. :-)

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  23. Natalie I’m so happy you are posting again!
    I would keep going back to your blog over these past few months waiting for another post, but everytime I was welcomed over and over Again by the previous fashion post you had done. I went to Paris recently too, but only for a couple of days. I’m excited to see your pictures, so I can go back and reflect on my Paris adventure too!

    Here is my blog if you want to check it out sometime in one of those cafés
    aricamccarthy.wordpress.com

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  24. If you do happen to forget things it is because many more lovely things have taken up that easy-to-recall-space in your brain. So while it might seem sad now, it will be ok when it happens. :-). But you are so very wise to write it down! I am looking forward to reading about your adventures!

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  25. I love this post! It’s important to remember how things looked, sounded and felt when you were young – I’m 40 next year – and being glad to be alive and enjoying life. Writing is a perfect way to preserve your thoughts and memories. You have a lovely writing style.

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