40 Years Ago

When I was about 18, I had a dream that I would go to Paris to study esthetics.

The dream actually started when I was 12, saw the movie Funny Face and fell in love with the whole beatnik thing.

At 19, I followed that dream and here is the receipt for the airfare.


Why have I held on to it?

Well, first, in those days no self respecting Armenian girl would dream of taking off on their own (my poor parents).

Secondly, because I actually fulfilled the dream. I did not allow anything to stand in my way: not my parents objections, not the fact that I did not speak French, not the fact that I really did not have a lot of money.

After all, at 19, anything and everything is possible.

Because it was my dream and my dream alone, I had to learn to be very resourceful to figure out exactly what I needed to do to live there as a student.

After several visits to the French embassy and with all of the proper letters  and applications in place and a list of esthetic schools (yes, I did not know what school I would be attending), off I went.

Once in Paris, I visited about a dozen schools with some very clear criteria in mind assuring them that by the following year I would be speaking French.

(Ok, much to my surprise, there were no schools that taught in English).

I felt incredibly strong because I was doing exactly what I wanted to do. Every so often, during those two years, I would think  to myself “holy f**k, I am in Paris!!!”

While running my business, over the following 38 years, I have tapped into that feeling numerous times, because marching to your own drum as a single self-sufficient individual is extremely difficult.

I have paid dearly for that independence.

But, through the years I have met the most incredible people as clients, business associates, landlords and tenants. Through you, my life has been enriched.

Through you, I have learned major life lessons. I have learned about love, loss of love, aging and death.

Through you I have also: gained travel tips and cottage trips, found apartments, been introduced to boyfriends, heard about the Institute of Holistic Nutrition (the nutrition school I attended), and been helped with writing resumes and introduction letters and navigating my webpage and social media. The list can go on and on …

Most of all, you have given me lots and lots of encouragement and support.

The rollercoaster ride has been very scary at times but because of all of you I have hung on.

I would like to express my deepest gratitude  and appreciation to all of you.



  1. What a gorgeous post! Thanks Seta. I admire how you have lived, and continue to live. I look forward to a long, inspirational, and healthy future together.

    Sent from my iPhone


  2. Nice post Seta.  Congrats 👍you’ve done well…Amazing that you still have the reciept.  My very best Seta DanielianDolce & Gourmando1493 Bayview AveToronto on m4g3a8Cel: 416.230.6325 Off: 416.391.1500Store:416.915.8840Sent from my mobile

  3. Yeah Seta, the life of an independent woman. As I read this post I thought of the joy and risk of walking the road less travelled. Thank you for sharing this.

  4. I posted a comment. Not sure I did it right. Paris was amazing. Germany was wonderful. Talk Saturday/Sunday? Monika

    Sent from my iPhone


  5. Dear Seta,
    I so love your reckless courage to follow your dream, and that your life has been enriched because of following this dream. That you express your gratitude to so many–well, that is a sign of a big and generous heart. I love that too.
    XOX ~ Fran

  6. Seta, Congratulations! This post is so beautiful. Continue to follow your dreams. You truly are an amazing person. Hugs Monica


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