Emilee - Durango, Colorado
Entered on November 5, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

I believe that you should never take life changing experienced for granted good or bad and just live life one step at a time. I always here people around me talking about how people should not dwell on the past but rather just look forward to the future. But, when it really comes down to it I think that everyone looks back on the past and regrets something at one point in there life. It could be a major regret or it could be a minor regret but still there is nothing you can do to change it so why look back and wish you could.

We had just arrived at our apartment in Paris that we were renting out for the weekend. The apartment was one bedroom with a couch and kitchen in the next room. It was defiantly not okay; we had to fit seven people in this. The thought of being able to tell people that I had been to Paris was making me really excited, even though I was not happy to be there at all. About three weeks before that we had gone to Ireland and had been there ever since with my aunt and uncle who live there. My mom had planned it out so that my sister and I would spend three weeks there and two weeks in France. At first I could not wait to be going to Europe, but as soon as we got on the plane I knew I was not going to enjoy the trip. Paris was a beautiful city I was just there at the wrong time. I hate being away from home for more than one week at a time so five weeks away was absolutely killing me.

Later that night my aunt and sister really wanted to go to the Eiffel Tower. My aunt wanted it just to be us girls, my sister, her and me. So as we were getting ready to leave my sister suggested that we go somewhere to eat before we go to the tower. Both of them thought that I should choose where we went to eat because I hadn’t been “participating” in any other family decisions. When they asked me where I wanted to go I had one short and simple respond, “I don’t care.”

By now, both of them were getting very frustrated with me because their the kind of people that have very short patience.

Then, my aunt said, “You either need to choose a place to go and eat or at least tell us what kind of food you want to eat.”

Once again, “I don’t care.” Soon enough they just decided that they would choose where we went to eat and if I didn’t like it, I could just go back to the apartment. I was not a very happy camper when we got to the Eiffel tower and both my sister and aunt were just getting on my nerves. This was not the only reason I did not want to be at the Eiffel tower, it was also because out of all my fears my biggest one is elevators. I am completely terrified of them nothing else can compare to my fear of them. And of course, these elevators are extremely old and you can see the wire that they are hanging from! So, when we got in line everyone was telling me that I needed to go to the top, it would be the most beautiful thing I will ever see. But no, there was no way I was taking a fifteen-minute ride in an elevator that was going up almost 1,063 feet! The farthest I was going to go was to the middle level and that was a big deal for me. When, I got on the elevator and it started going up, up and away, it felt like I stood all alone over all the bright lights, the merry-go-rounds, all the people with their cameras, oohs and awes from every direction; the people all so small as if I stepped out of the glass walls holding me in, they would all be squished by my gigantic foot.

Then, reality set in and I realized I couldn’t squish all the people and I was still on an elevator. I freaked. I could not stop my heart rate which was pumping at it’s hardest and how could I control the tears that were streaming down my face? I couldn’t, I wouldn’t. So, when my aunt and sister decided to go to the top they tried and tried to get me to go but I was still upset and shaky from the elevator experience so there was no way I was going to re-do that event again. After that I wasn’t in the mood to talk to anyone and they tried and tried to get me to say something but I just was not going to say anything. Basically I was just being a killjoy for the whole trip. But, what they didn’t know was that even thought my facial expressions and emotions did not show this, inside I was really enjoying this beautiful view. Not the trip or the Eiffel Tower, just the view. The lights, the sounds, the busy streets filled with celebration, the children with there mothers down below pointing us saying “Mommy, I wanna go up there!!!!!!” could not be described as anything less than perfectly perfect with every aspect. That will be the one thing in my life that I know I never will or could forget. Later that night when we got back to the apartment, my uncle who had been to the Eiffel Tower multiple times asked us how the trip was. My sister and aunt replied in a hurry, “Oh you should have seen it! It was absolutely amazing, but little Ms. Emilee over here didn’t want any part to do with us. She just sat on the middle level and acted as if it was just another day in the park.” I wanted to say something about how I really did love it but I knew that the moment I did they would go off on me about how I should have showed it while I was there and not have been a grouch they whole time. So I just didn’t bother. The rest of the night the three of them stayed up and talked in excitement about what a privilege it was to get to go to Paris with the people they love the most and I just stood by and listened.

The most valuable lesson that I learned the out of this whole experience is to never do something that you will regret later on in your life. Now, when I look back on how lucky I was to even get to go to Paris I realized that I should have taken the time I had with family for granted and made that vacations a wonderful experience that I could look back on and not wish that anything would have been different. My aunt is a very wonderful person who loves life and would not change hers for anything in this world. Just looking back makes me feel terrible knowing that I ruined what could have been a wonderful experience for everybody just because I didn’t want to be there. Knowing that one single person could ruin everything for everyone in just one moment is mind blowing. But what’s worse then that is to know that I was the person who did that to everyone.