Sometimes, when you think about your favorite things, you don’t so much choose them as they choose you. Such is the case with my favorite shirt, shown here in a loose little 3-color doodlewash. This is the one of the first shirts I purchased while visiting France, after discovering a little shop called Jules that has amazing prices, which to me, is something that’s always in fashion. The store is rather like the impossible scenario of H&M and Gap having a French love child. They sell wonderfully affordable shirts that actually fit, without being ridiculously baggy, or shaped like a triangle for people who work out every day. This particular choice is pretty basic, and regrettably plaid, which is insanely tough to paint quickly, but it still hangs in my closet like a little trophy of that moment of discovery. These days, I now pack very little clothes before our annual trip to visit family in France, and instead, purchase clothes when I arrive for the year. This reminds me that I need to remember to also purchase that larger suitcase I’ve been eyeing.
But beyond the incredible deal, the real reason I love this shirt is because Philippe and I had only really just met. We were still trying to figure out the complexities of being a binational couple and wondering if the notion of actually living together was even possible at all. All those romantic movies I loved made scenarios like ours seem so inevitable. But the journey hasn’t been as easy as the movies made it seem. I’m assuming they cut those bits out in order to get the story down to reasonable length. In real life, there were moments of doubt, and confusion, and coming home, completely alone from France, with just this shirt. A simple thing, to be sure, but one that holds all the memories of an amazing trip and a beautiful hope that everything must surely have a happy ending. I remember staring at this shirt, hanging in the closet, letting it take me back to my happiest moments and impossible dreams. I can’t say it was the only thing that got me through those difficult times, but it certainly helped remind me to never give up hope.
So many things in life feel like they’re out of our control, and yet we have so much control after all. We have hope. And that is a powerful thing indeed. It can make the impossible actually possible. It can turn doubt into a glorious victory. Yeah, I know, I’ve already admitted here that I’m a hopeless optimist. But, I’ve always found that if you chase your dreams with all the passion they deserve, those dreams will actually come true. Possibly not in the exact way you envisioned them, but reasonably close enough to prove that passion and persistence are reliable friends. No matter what you hope for, never let doubt stop you. If you truly want something badly enough, then simply live life as though it’s already happened. Reality often takes its own sweet time, but it will eventually catch up with you. And when you look back, you’ll discover the oddest things that helped you succeed. I’m now living the dream I once had, back during those many lonely trips home from France, and though I would imagine something grand to be my favorite memory. I’m quite happy to have the simple joy and comfort, of my favorite shirt.
About the Doodlewash
Da Vinci Paint Co.: Hansa Yellow Deep, Quinacridone Red, and Payne’s Grey. Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with sepia ink in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book.