I started twenty-one with a glass of Pinot Noir and with a hope that it was going to be my best year yet. Earlier in the year, when I was living in Hawaii, I had this feeling under my skin that I needed to go home. I loved Hawaii, but I couldn’t get rid of the voice in my head telling me it was time to leave. I didn’t understand why at the time, but I listened to it. I could have never known that within my time being home, my auntie would pass away. How important it was that I was there to watch Ky attend her first day of school & my auntie welcome her, family birthdays, seeing my auntie’s car pull up to the driveway, all the conversations and moments I had missed out since I had moved away years before. But deep down I’d like to think the voice that told me it was time to come home knew. It guided me towards what I didn’t know I needed most in my life. Time. Death came out of the blue, but I recognized it the moment the phone rang at work. Knowing about death and experiencing death are two entirely different things. Being with my auntie in her final moments were both beautiful and heartbreaking. During that time, summer was just starting to show herself. And even though the sun was relentless back home, I felt tinged with coldness. Everything felt dark. I was on my way to work when I booked a trip to Paris. It was random and irresponsible. I booked a ticket for the following month. Aryn (Saint & bf) went along with my plan. We both worked our asses off to get ourselves here. And for the first time in forever, I felt that fire in my soul- the fire that death had put out months ago. I don’t think booking a trip can suddenly fix everything. I still miss my aunt every day, and I know by now you can’t run from yourself. But this is what I do believe – I do believe it is necessary to chase our best selves. I was chasing the girl who I wanted to be here, in Paris. A girl who started to write again, a girl who was filled with wonder and passion, grit and drive, a girl who sees the world as a kind place, even though painful things happen. A girl who is excited for whatever is coming next. That girl is the best me and I would like to think I’m catching up to her.