Aurielle is the ultimate it-girl. She is the voice and vision behind She Is the Light, a visual and written diary of an American in Paris. She is a DJ-ette, model, artist and social media maven. With a penchant for everything from editorial work, fashion, photography, and music to fitness and beauty - she dabbles in every monde and threads it all together seamlessly. You can follow her on Instagram @auriellesayeh and @sheisthelight. A word of warning: be prepared to swoon.
HER FIRST HEARTBREAK
"I had my heart broken many times when I was younger. I've always been pretty transparent when it comes to feelings and emotions - be it friendships or relationships, I give everything or nothing. The first time I had my heart broken so much I couldn't sleep or eat, was probably the first time I was in love for real. All my past relationships, and the hurt had I carried with me from them, caused me to ruin a relationship with someone I really wanted to spend my life with. I think from that point on I decided to try to focus on becoming a stronger woman even though it was difficult. I definitely went back and forth with that person for many years. But at the end of the day, I chose myself and my growth, and I am very happy and proud of that."
THE ADVICE SHE WOULD GIVE TO HER YOUNGER SELF
"There's a French saying: c'est pas grave, which literally means it's not grave. It's not gonna kill you. This saying is something I always remember. I hate being single. I wish that I had someone to share my life with, but I would have never obtained this life I have made for myself if I was in a relationship. So I would tell my younger self to chill and wait. To invest all of those years spent in a relationship on herself. I could have avoided a lot of pain if I listened to my dad's advice. He told me to wait on love and focus on myself."
HER MOST RECENT HEARTBREAK
"I recently was very hurt by someone I wasn't dating per se, but who I thought I was dating. He was a good friend, someone I spoke to a lot. We had sexual and emotional relations for about a year. I never pressured him to be in a relationship because in France, dating is much different than in America, and honestly I didn't have the time to care. We spent great moments together and when I came to the realization that I had deep feelings for this person, I told him. He didn't receive me the way I hoped and actually referred to me as a 'sex friend,' which I took pretty offensively. I was hurt that he couldn't see past my sexuality, because I have so much more to offer as a woman."
HOW SHE MENDS
"I haven't been in a real relationship with a man in many years. But after a breakup, I set myself to travel and get to know myself. I've moved to two different cities and one country after ending things with my ex, twice. First New York years ago, and then Paris. I stayed in LA waiting for him to wake up. When he didn't, I knew I wasn't living up to my potential staying there. It's like a plant: when it really starts to grow, sometimes you have to repot it. I don't think this applies to everyone, but I'm an artist at heart so I can't stay where I'm not inspired. I will wilt away. I have to also give major credit to my best friends. Sometimes you need people that just get you to remind you that you're not crazy. Thank god I have people like that. No matter how much I travel, I can always count on a few people to pick up from where we last left off and speak openly without embarrassment. If your friends judge you, I'd evaluate those friendships fast."
HER BREAKUP VICE
"My breakup vice is that I hide away in my shell, whether it be staying in bed, watching too much TV, eating too much food, taking a trip alone. Too much isolation can be bad for the mind, so if I notice it's been too long, I start reaching out to my friends and try to give myself a deadline to snap out of it. Sometimes I throw myself into work mode and use my heartache as inspiration."
CAN EXES BE FRIENDS?
"I do think that some exes can be friends. I stay in touch with a few exes and I consider them lifelong friends. I still even talk to the brother of an ex. He's like a little brother to me and I love him."
ON STAYING CONNECTED ON SOCIAL MEDIA
"I do, but not with the toxic ones. I think that not all people have the same views on growth and you can't keep connected with people that are poisonous to yours."
HER HARDEST LESSON ON LOVE
"Love is fucking complicated! But it exists! It's cliche to say this, but you really have to fall in love with yourself first. I laugh and roll my eyes now at men that only come to me for a physical relationship, because I know that I am the whole package and that package is sacred. I have good men telling me this everyday, but more over, I KNOW it to be true. I have worked very hard to become someone that I like and respect, and that job never ends. It's absolutely hilarious to me to consider spending time with someone that doesn't register that. I'm straight up not looking to pass the time with someone. I want to be, and stay, crazy in love with the man of my life, my best friend. I can wait for him wherever he is. My biggest lesson is patience. Being single sucks! But the alternative of giving myself away in meaningless relationships creeps me out and doesn't appeal to me either. My intuition tells me that my patience will reward me with a man that can be equivalent to the big dreams in my life that have unfolded. I know that it's possible."
HER FAVORITE SONG ON HEARTBREAK
"Where Is the Love by Roberta Flack and Donny Hathaway."
WHAT KEEPS HER HEART OPEN
"My heart is open to people it recognizes. I cannot say that I put myself out there. I actually don't date. I meet people randomly throughout my day to day life and I rarely feel things. So when I do, I give it a shot. As of late, there were always complications. One might say my taste in men is very bad. I try not to waste too much time, feelings or energy on someone after I realize it isn't going to work, but I put a lot of weight on liking someone in the first place because I am very selective so it doesn't always work out that way. I am old fashioned. I want to be courted, wooed and I don't want to have sex with men I do not know or love."
WHAT SHE’S EXCITED ABOUT
"I am always working. That's the one thing I do have right! Fashion week in Paris is coming up and I am DJing a lot, so I am super excited for that. I am also working on a super secret business project right now with my team and we are so excited to show everyone what we have been working on. Recently, I was just selected to be a face and ambassador for NARS France. I feel super honored for that and to get started working on the campaign."
Photographed by Romain Pivetal.