Natasha Sizlo, ALL SIGNS POINT TO PARIS: A Memoir of Love, Loss, and Destiny

Natasha Sizlo, ALL SIGNS POINT TO PARIS: A Memoir of Love, Loss, and Destiny

Zibby speaks to Natasha Sizlo about All Signs Point to Paris, a sparkling and adventurous memoir about her quest to find her astrological soulmate—a man born in Paris on November 2nd, 1968! Natasha talks about the difficult life events that prompted her journey, the amazing online community she grew while abroad, and how the experience strengthened her relationship with her sister (who also went to Paris!). She also talks about being the biggest cynic believer of astrology and spirits (are the voices in her head thoughts or ghosts!?) and hints at some yet-to-be-announced book updates—perhaps an adaptation?


Zibby Owens: Welcome, Natasha. Thank you so much for coming on “Moms Don’t Have Time to Read Books” to discuss All Signs Point to Paris: A Memoir of Love, Loss, and Destiny.

Natasha Sizlo: Hi, Zibby. Thank you so much for having me.

Zibby: As you know, I fell in love with this book, coup de foudre, if you will. I probably didn’t pronounce that well, referencing the idea of falling in love at first sight from your book. Why don’t you tell listeners a little bit about the book? I am really curious — I know that you were documenting a lot of this on Instagram as you went; then I went back and tried to look and see if I could still find all the Instagram — when you knew this was a book versus a piece of .

Natasha: That came, actually, after I came back from Paris in the most magical way. I was documenting everything on Instagram. I’ve taken some of it down just for privacy reasons and for a lot of reasons. I went on this journey starting in 2018. I came back from Paris at the very end of 2019. I had been documenting everything on Instagram. Through these strange six degrees of separation — somebody told somebody else. Somebody looked at my Instagram. Somebody reached out to me. A literary agent reached out to me at the end of 2019 and said, “Would you ever consider writing a story? I think you have a book in you.” I had been a writer in my early twenties in the magazine world. Never had even dreamed of having something this big and beautiful come into my life, especially in this really serendipitous, magical way. My astrologer had told me, “Your point of destiny is to tell a story and to return to writing.” This whole story really is about astrology and taking these big leaps of faith. That’s how the writing of it started, just somebody reaching out to me through social media, which is such a crazy thing. It’s one of those things you hear stories about, but you don’t actually happen to you. It did. I couldn’t help but notice it. Then that’s the journey of the writing of it. The story itself —

Zibby: — Yeah, go back to the story itself.

Natasha: It’s the story of my second chance of love and life. It started in 2018 when I was at a real all-time low in probably every corner of my life. I had weathered a pretty tricky divorce. I had short-sold my home. I had folded a business. I had filed bankruptcy. My dog died. Everything that you could imagine. I had just broken up with, I thought was my second real chance at a happily ever after. My heart was broken. My father was diagnosed with a terminal illness, with pulmonary fibrosis. The hits kept coming. I couldn’t pick myself up anymore. My best friend in the world saw that. I’m a single mom living in LA. I was trying to rebuild my career in real estate. My best friend saw that I was just beaten down. She gifted me an astrology reading, which I thought was just absurd. The cynic and the nonbeliever in me — I was really raised by facts and logic and would normally have said no to that, but I decided that year that I needed to start doing something a little differently. I just took a leap of faith. I said yes.

That astrology reading changed my life. That’s how it all began. I had this astrology reading. I actually entered it really as a cynic. I said, “Just so you know, I don’t believe in astrology,” to this lovely woman, Stephanie Jourdan, who’s nothing like all the stereotypes that I had in my mind about what astrologers would be. She said, “That’s okay. You don’t have to believe.” She gave me this really insightful reading about my birth chart and who I was. She knew things that kind of defied the logic that I had been living on my whole life in terms of knowing who I was and my path and my future. She knew things about, from the way that I dressed to my father’s illness, to my history as a writer, to deeply personal things about relationships and times in my life that were struggles. By the end of the reading, in forty-five minutes, I had gone from cynic to full-on believer. Then I asked her about that sexy, handsome Frenchman that really was such a fun post-divorce romance but wasn’t possible at building a future with. I couldn’t get over him, so I said, “Could you just look at his birthdate?” She did. It was kind of a long story. She basically came back to me with, “He’s in line with your point of destiny.” The word marriage came up. The word husband came up. I thought, okay, that’s not really what I was — I was hoping to be released from it somehow.

My sister called me the next day and told me that my dad had two weeks left to live. I just hit an even lower low. I thought, my one shot at true love is emotionally unavailable to be in a relationship with. My father, who really was a rock in my life, was suffering this terrible disease and going to be gone soon. I fell to the bathroom floor, as one does. Then I got out of the shower. I saw a photo of myself at age six. It was a time when I believed in magic. I believed in all the possibilities and all the things that had just been squashed over the years. It’s when I believed in myself, really. I texted my best friend. I said, “You know, he’s not the only one. I’m going to find every other man who was born on November 2nd, 1968, in Paris.” Being the wonderful best friend that she is, she was like, “Yes, let’s go.” It was as serious of an action or a statement as it was until I went to go see my dad. I told him. I was trying to lighten the mood because he was having a really hard time saying goodbye to my mom and to my sister and I. He was crying. I said, “Hey Dad, I was thinking about going to Paris to track down my soulmate.” I told him this whole crazy adventure with this astrologer. He was Mr. Facts and Logic. He was Mr. MIT. I thought maybe I would give him a heart attack on his deathbed. He would die thinking I’d lost my mind. He said, “Sounds to me like you’re going to Paris. I’ll meet you there.” It was the most generous, kindest thing he or anybody in my life has ever said to me.

Zibby: It’s making me cry just listening to this.

Natasha: Every time I say that sentence, it makes me cry because it was so selfless. He was in a lot of pain. He was looking out for me. After he died — you can’t really predict what grief is going to be. It was a really, really hard couple months. I remembered what he told me. I thought, he gifted me a reason to get up and a reason to go on this wild adventure, which I did, and to go to Paris and to track down every single person I could find born on this date and to have this beautiful story with my sister and my best friend and to heal. It’s a story of love and adventure and all the whacky dating in LA and Paris, but it’s a story of grief and healing for me. It has been, even post-releasing it and talking to you and going through it over and over. It’s really just been my journey of healing or letting go or letting in. I don’t even know how to put words to it. It’s been magic, truly.

Zibby: Wow. You believed, almost, in the universe. You were like, I’m going to put this out there. I’m going to follow this crazy dream of mine that I’m going to meet this person. You did all the logical things. Yet then it’s like, what else can you do? You put your faith — then in return, you got so much back, which is sort of the conclusion. I won’t give anything away, but just that often, if you have nothing left to give and you throw it out there, you actually get stuff back. I know that sounds ridiculous, but it’s true. The things that you got out of the experience were so profound and unexpected, too, that it’s very inspiring. Sometimes we go after goals thinking that that’s what we’re going to achieve, but then the universe has other plans. It had far bigger plans for you. You touched so many people’s lives. People got so invested in your quest because you posted about it and let people in and let other people have hope. There’s something very infectious about that. When somebody finds their hope again, it’s really nice to be able to jump in and say, I’m living through this person, in a way.

Natasha: It’s been amazing. The people that I connected with on the journey while I was living it and in the telling of it after writing the book, it’s been really incredible to see how much we need community, we need each other, we need these stories to relate and share and feel seen and feel heard. It does change things when you say something out loud or you put it in writing. I had never done that before, not what I really truly wanted for myself and in life. Then of course, yes, the universe or however you want to phrase it might not answer you in the way that you expect. You have to be ready for that. It was profound and huge. It was the first time that I was brave enough to actually not care what anybody else thought and just throw it all out. A lot of people thought I was crazy, but more people actually were like, wait, what are you doing? They were rooting me on. It’s really beautiful. For the most part, people are good.

Zibby: I have to say, I was nervous on your behalf. I was like, you’re going to give all this information out to strangers. You just need one crazy person. I think I’m much more pessimistic or something.

Natasha: Luckily, I had my sister on my side. She’s like that too. She was like, “Wait, wait, wait, you’re sharing too much. You’re oversharing.” I’m like, “I don’t know how else to do it.” I’m a pretty transparent person.

Zibby: No, not the sharing of emotion. Just more like where I’ll be, but I guess I do that too. I don’t know. I just was like, god, I hope nothing bad’s going to happen to her. I kept reading. I was holding my breath for you the whole ride.

Natasha: I took a lot of risks. I always tended to jump into the deep end.

Zibby: I also really respected the way you talked about your relationship with your sister and how you came to realize how much she had been doing for your mom. We can all get very myopic in our goals or our quests. I feel like you kind of realized with your sister, wait, weren’t we supposed to be bonding on the trip? She had a very different expectation of the trip itself. You were really open about that. It’s great to see. We’ve all had times where we’re more selfish than other times. Usually in times of deep self-preservation, I think that sometimes you have to focus inwards a little more. Maybe the people around you don’t understand it. It’s perceived as something negative when it’s really survival instinct. All to say, I think you did a beautiful job of showing us your relationship with her and showing us some of the decisions even in your trip to Paris and where you got to at the end. I really respected how you handled that.

Natasha: Thank you. It’s not always easy to write about our least-favorite versions of ourselves. At least, it wasn’t for me. Even while I was writing this, it was so beautiful to have this experience with my sister. She would be in a Google Doc with me. I’m like, “Is this accurate?” I wanted to make sure that I wasn’t writing from — just that I was getting it right on the page, of everything that happened in our journey. It was very healing. She is an incredible sister. She showed up in the end of my dad’s life and in my whole life to this day in such an incredible way. We’re just complete opposites.

Zibby: I just wrote this down as a writing assignment. For anyone listening — now I feel like I have to go do a class or something. I feel like everyone should write an essay about the least-favorite version of themselves. That would get really good material. Don’t you think?

Natasha: Oh, my gosh. I would do a draft, and I’m like, doesn’t feel right. Oh, it’s because it’s my fantasy version of myself. Then I realized there was some times where I was overly self-deprecating. It’s a process, writing and rewriting and rewriting and rewriting. You realize, how do you get to the core of who you are? How do you accept every version of yourself? That’s actually something that astrology gave me. This is not a book about astrology. It’s not trying to prove that astrology is real or not real. I think that astrology gave me an affirmation that the way I was wired was fundamentally okay. I don’t know how to explain why it did that. It kind of shows you that you don’t need to — I don’t know. It’s just a way of accepting yourself. Writing this book, it was a way of accepting every version, the good version, the bad version, the fantasy version, the messy-life version. It’s all okay.

Zibby: I have to say, by the time I got to the end and where you left us in your final scene after going through this whole journey, I just had to sit there with the book on my chest taking it in. It was just such a profound journey to take with you. Everything I’m saying is sounding cheesy, but I mean it all, truly. I read lots and lots of memoirs. It’s my favorite genre. There’s something about your story that — it is the openness with which you told it, but it’s the faith in mankind or something, faith in mankind to help and the ability to get out of the darkest times through things you choose to do and what can come from the most horrific loss.

Natasha: It’s so hard, by the way. It’s so hard to get out of that, but it’s possible. It’s possible. Any hard thing in life, it doesn’t have to be just grief, anything. I definitely am not like bright sunshine every day, but I do have faith in love and believe in magic and believe in community and picking ourselves up and being there for each other. I did have love show up in so many crazy, incredible ways because of this — I don’t know. The worst year of my life turned into, really, the best year of my life. It was all based on that belief in the goodness in love. I’m just so honored that you have championed this book, Zibby. You have this bright light too. Thank you. I didn’t have any expectations putting this out into the world. You just showed up as this little angel.

Zibby: It’s so random, too, because it was Melanie Goldberger, my real estate broker in LA, was like, “There’s a girl in my office who wrote a book.” I’m like, okay, fine. “Send me the link. Let me see. Let me read about it.” I was like, oh, this sounds amazing. I didn’t realize you have this huge, amazing network. I don’t even know what you call it. Your ex-husband’s new wife is Anna Faris, so you go and do this star-studded launch. It’s produced by Michael Sugar, who I knew. I was like, wait, this is a whole thing. your book. You’re not some random girl in Melanie’s office. I was happy I came to it that way. Then of course, I realized I’d been pitched. I hadn’t even gotten to the pitch or something. Anyway, it all worked out perfectly.

Natasha: How funny.

Zibby: I’m dying to ask you the PS to the whole book. I really want the update, but I feel like I shouldn’t ask you here because then it would give things away.

Natasha: I know. That’s the hardest thing. I feel like I’m not allowed to share anything. You don’t want a spoiler alert. I am so transparent, so I’m like, oh, my god, let me tell everybody what’s happened. Maybe that’s book two, very fun adventures.

Zibby: Maybe I’ll email you.

Natasha: Yes.

Zibby: I had dogeared so many different parts. Let me see if I can find any great quotes off the cuff here, which maybe I can’t. If not, then I’ll just keep talking. There was so much great stuff about your dad. I wanted to ask you about your ADD, which you write about. You wrote about even how it affected you at boarding school and how you had to manage your education through that and finding your way with ADD, which affects so many people. Tell me more about that.

Natasha: That was hard. It was 1989 when I was in high school. I was not able to sit still. It’s served me very well overall in life, but at that time — I ended up starting high school at a boarding school in Ojai. There was a lot going on there that really wasn’t right, as the LA Times has recently reported on. I ended up getting expelled from that school. There was no world where I fit in because there wasn’t a dialogue for how to “handle” — I’m putting quotation marks around it — different ways of learning and different ways of being and different ways of thinking. Now there is. I think that that’s amazing. It’s starting. It’s not even completely there. For me, it was a challenge. It made me feel, as I was growing up, like a failure at many, many different things. I’ve learned now all of those “failures,” of course, were just moments for growth. I don’t even believe in that word. I really was beating myself up for many, many, many years over not fitting into this box of what the system tries to put kids and adults into. We all have different ways of managing and learning and thinking. It’s been a journey. Going on this adventure and understanding that I don’t need to be any of the versions — there’s no perfect way to do anything. It’s been very freeing me and for my kids too, who both have ADD and both manage it in their own ways. That’s great.

Zibby: Did you ever think that this is where you would end up, a memoirist?

Natasha: No, absolutely not. If you would’ve told me at any point in my life even that I would be sitting down with my ex-husband and his wife and talking about going on a search for astrology and writing about it, absolutely not. I do know that at age fifteen when I did get expelled from that school, I started writing. I was actually just going through all these letters last night. I still have them all. I couldn’t pick up the phone. I couldn’t talk to any of my friends. So much had happened in those years when I was at that school that I was just writing and writing and writing. That’s how I learned how to process the world. It became my lifeline. I think that’s when my writer’s heart, the seeds were all planted. At that point, I probably had a dream in there of being a writer. Then that’s why I studied screenwriting. Then I was a magazine journalist. Then I gave up. I felt like I had failed at it and moved on to other things. I was trying to be the perfect mother. I really stopped writing for a good twenty years. This has been an incredible gift and also a really beautiful reminder that you can have a second chance or a second life or revisit those dreams at any age. I’m forty-eight. I’m just starting a new path. Hopefully, I’ll start a bunch of other ones far into as many years as I’m gifted on this planet. It’s been wild and wonderful. I’m grateful that somebody actually believed in me. That was my agent who just found me randomly, and a lot of people, like you, anybody who understands my journey and has championed me on. It takes a community around. It’s not just me. It’s a whole big community. I had a lot of help.

Zibby: It takes a village for every book. It’s not just kids.

Natasha: Such a wild experience.

Zibby: Has this been adapted? What’s going on with the film? What’s going on?

Natasha: There’s nothing that I can announce, but there’s very exciting things on the horizon. I have nothing that I can speak to. Listen, it’s really a dream come true in the most wild way. Just to have given up on a dream and to not have written for twenty-five years and then to all of a sudden have a book being published and go through all of this and to have yet-to-be-announced information, who does this happen to? It’s weird.

Zibby: It’s not weird. It’s great. It’s so great. I’m seeing what else. I had underlined so much stuff. Hold on, there’s something here. I liked this part too, when you talk to the spirits. You said, “I put my phone down and looked around my living room. ‘I know this sounds strange, but to all the spirits here who are not on board with this plan, who do not believe in magic and love, who keep telling me I’m crazy and to give up, I command you to leave.’ Stephanie had told me about the dead people in my living room and the voices in my head, and it finally all made some kind of sense. I could choose to listen to the doubts, or I could ask them to kindly get the fuck out. ‘And to all the good spirits, the believers, the dreamers, the lovers, I officially need your help. Pack your bags, ghosties, we’re going to Paris.'”

Natasha: I talked to the spirits right before we hopped on this Zoom, Zibby.

Zibby: Really? You did? What did they have to say?

Natasha: I’m holding crystals. I’ve got the whole thing. I’m the biggest cynic believer that you’ll meet. I’m like, this sounds like a bunch of BS. Let’s do it. Stephanie told me in my first reading that I was incredibly psychic and that my house was filled with spirits. I probably just think they’re the voices in my head. At first, I thought, I can’t believe I’m having these conversations right now. What is this? Then I thought, well, I do have voices in my head. A lot of them are not positive. They’re the ones that are saying, you can’t do this. You’re not good enough. Whether it’s a spirit in my home or if it’s the doubts in my head, for me to say, I want to call in my highest and best today, anyone who is not serving my highest and best, or your highest and best, whether it was sitting down to write — help me on the page today. How can I be the best communicator today? How can I champion love or spread a message of hope and faith and goodwill? Maybe those are just affirmations. Maybe I’m just pep talking to myself. Maybe I’m talking to spirits. Maybe there are guides here. Maybe my father is right by my side. Maybe both and all of those things are possible, which is what I believe in. I’ve become very spiritual in the course of four years, but there are the days when I have my doubts. Then that’s just me walking through life and trying to hold space for all the positive sides. Yes, there are ghosties all over the place here, and hopefully, only the good ones. I asked the negative ones to leave this morning.

Zibby: I know we’re almost out of time already, which is crazy. I have a thousand more things. I also thought it was so funny how you wrote about your mom, who was very practical and just pull herself up by the bootstraps and when you talked to her about destiny, how she said to you originally, “You want to know what your destiny is? Your destiny is death.” Here you are on the complete opposite of the pendulum. I’m dancing around spirits today in my living room. It’s funny how we take what our parents believe or what they say and do and react in all these different ways.

Natasha: She started to change by the end of this too, by the way. She’s like, “Maybe you’re right.”

Zibby: Everybody was going through a hard time.

Natasha: That’s what life’s about. We can reinvent ourselves. We can have so many different versions of ourselves. There’s always the next chapter and the next everything.

Zibby: I feel like sometimes it takes having someone that you’re super close to pass away until you’re aware of or open to the idea of more of the spiritual and communication and signs and all of that. I think sometimes if you don’t have anybody you’re looking for, you might not see it.

Natasha: Right. Once you see it, you can’t unsee it.

Zibby: I’m in your camp. Next time I’m in LA, I would like to hear the whole conclusion to this book from 2020 on.

Natasha: Deal. I’d love to .

Zibby: Congratulations. I’ve been watching your trajectory here and so cheering you on. I’m so excited for you.

Natasha: Thank you, Zibby. You’re such an inspiration to me and to all of us. Truly, thank you for everything that you do.

Zibby: Have a great day, Natasha. We’ll talk soon.

Natasha: Thanks, Zibby. Okay, bye.

Zibby: Bye.

Natasha Sizlo, ALL SIGNS POINT TO PARIS: A Memoir of Love, Loss, and Destiny

ALL SIGNS POINT TO PARIS: A Memoir of Love, Loss, and Destiny by Natasha Sizlo

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