~Narrative Essay~
By: JannaLyse Erickson

I truly had no idea what was in store for me when I stepped off the plane, tired from traveling for twelve hours. My mother and father were beyond excitement with what they had planned for each day of the excursion and the day that I was most excited for was the tour of the Louvre. Yes, we were in Paris. A beautiful place with new smells, sounds, and people to experience; all of which were different from the United States. It was wonderful. The first morning that we walked inside the Louvre, I had a strong urge not to blink for fear that I would miss something wonderful that might change my life. Gorgeous depictions of myths, places, war, death, and life trapped me in rapture. I wanted to memorize every brush stroke, every color palate. Each painting was overflowing with meaning and symbolism. No artist just decided on a whim to put a tree to the right, or an extra ledge on a medieval church. Each bit had a purpose in telling the story that had been running through the artist’s mind at that particular time. My body produced chills and goose-bumps multiple times as I wandered around getting lost in color and light. Every artist had something different to add to the world to enrich life. It made me wonder, what do I have to offer that would affect someone as strongly as these painting were affecting me? This question ran through my mind for the rest of the tour, for the rest of the vacation, and even to this very moment to continue on forever. I truly believe that there must be some beauty in every person on this Earth, something that they can share. I don’t exactly know what mine is, but that trip will always affect my future decisions as I choose what to do with each day of my life. ‘What am I going to do today that could change the world around me?’ This question is worthy of being etched into my soul. Paris became a large part of my heart and the Louvre changed my entire outlook on life. Without that adventure, I would not be even close to the person that I am today and my future would be even more uncertain than it is right now. The world is full of meaning and beauty like those works of art, and I intend to see as much of it as I can, to enshrine it just as I remember the gorgeous scenes produced from the past.