To Be Twenty Again

Here's a fun question...

If you could be any age again for one week, what would it be? What would you do?

When I lived as a model, briefly, in Paris, I desperately wanted to go to the South of France. I didn't even know what that meant, or where it was (Southish?) except that it involved mystery and romance, a blue sea and stretches of white sand. Each time I had a plan to take a weekend and go, a booking would come through and I'd cancel my trip. I always thought that there was plenty of time, and that I'd get there. Except, I didn't.

NowThisLife.com - Nice

Ah, to be twenty again, and to make a different choice. I'd pack up my bikini and forget the bookings. Sit on the beach, eat steak frites at a little café along a narrow street, sun myself by the Mediterranean Sea. I'd flirt shamelessly with dark haired beautiful French boys and drink cold beer. I'd take pictures of colorful, sun splashed buildings and do cartwheels on the wet sand. I'd swim in that aquamarine water and shake my long hair free when I walked out onto the beach, looking exactly like Bo Derek in 10, minus the braids. (Hey, this is my fantasy, right?)

Mostly, I'd revel in that twenty year old body. Walk for hours with no worries of my feet hurting. Wear high heels and dance. Sunbathe topless. Not be concerned with hangovers or calories. Have a vacation romance with one of those green eyed men.

In reality, twenty wasn't quite like that. It was subways and cooking in our fifth floor walk up model apartment because there was no money to eat out. It was hours of gin rummy with my roommate and tons of laughter. It was castings, and castings, and more castings, and finally a booking. It was reading and mix tapes filled with Elvis Costello and Billy Joel and being hassled on the street. It was not knowing who I was or what I wanted in my life. But it was also Paris, with a view of the Eiffel Tower from my little balcony to prove it. And discovery, and life, and love.

And it was wonderful, just the way it was.

But I do wish I had taken that one little trip, south.


  1. Ahhh...lovely fantasy and reality both, Chandra.

    I'll play!
    I'd be 17, on a three week exchange to Mansfield, England in Nottingham-shire again. Surrounded by the boys at school showing my California HS yearbook and feeling as pretty and popular as Scarlet O'Hara in the opening scenes of Gone with the Wind. Cartwheels on the cricket field and a visit to the real Sherwood Forest. Viewing the Major Oak where Robin Hood and his merry men hid. My first visits to pubs. That boy with the long wavy blond hair and impish smile who made the trip that much more exciting. My third kiss ever outside one of those pubs; first with beer breath and it made me giggle. Pouting and sipping Earl Grey tea the day before my return trip. It's hard to leave fantasyland. And even now when times get stressful, I myself in England in my dreams, waking and feeling a little better. In that way guess I never really left.

    Of course, the 30s are pretty amazing too...thankful to be following another fantasy and this time, I don't have to say goodbye.

  2. Ahhh you are taking me back. Having spent 3 weeks in the south of France, I can tell you the reality is as good as the fantasy! OK, I wasn't a model nor was I 20, but it truly is a magical place at any age. I hope you go one day :)

  3. What's heartbreaking is the number of 10-year ol girls that aren't happy with their age either. Except they want to be 22.

    1. Oh, I'm very happy with my age. Just thought it was a fun exercise to imagine going back. Certainly wouldn't want to stay there!

  4. Wonderful to hear you read this last night! Great piece.


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