Its official. One year ago today I was landing in Paris and running into the arms of the girl who helped me get here. I had no idea what was ahead of me and I definitely had no idea what I was getting myself into. I didn’t know that the best year was about to come and that I would be facing some huge ups and downs. I knew nothing. And it was terrifying.
When I look back at the person I was a year ago and the fear I had with taking this leap it shocks me. I honestly can’t believe I have made it but I bigger part of me can’t believe that I was debating on coming or not. I mean there has been so many times that I have thought about how much easier life would be if I just left… but where is there the fulfillment in that.
I have made it.
I have done the impossible. And I don’t mean to toot my own horn. But I think a year in France deserves a little celebrating. I managed to survive living in the middle of no where, cut off from everything with no car or internet or friends, taking care of two less-than-behaved kids (to be nice..) in a family who, well, clearly didn’t care about me as much as I did them. I managed to land an incredible job in the field I studied when everyone told me no one would sponsor an American’s visa. I found a decent priced flat in the center of Paris when everyone said who impossible it was. I came here not knowing a bit of French, and now my job is 50% in that language.
This year has been made of the best memories. I can’t say everyday was easy because it really wasnt. Living abroad is not all rainbows and butterflies–those of you who have done it for an extended period of time understand. But I would never change one thing about it. I am so unbelievably fortunate. I have accomplished most of what I have wanted too and grown up so much.
I love France. I fall in love with Paris over again almost everyday. As much as I miss the beach and Mexican food… I can’t imagine giving up my parks, fresh baguettes and fromage. As much as life makes no sense here sometimes, it makes sense for me to be here right now. There are days I wish I made different choices. Sometimes I wonder if I should have moved somewhere else, followed my heart, or traveled a bit instead of jumping into a career. But those uncertainties pass. I still travel and I love my job. And for the rest– what was meant to be happened and nothing can change that.
There is this postcard I stole from Post Secret that used to be my desktop background for ages. At first it was motivation. And now I have an understanding. It has so much truth. I have never felt so free than I do now. I can chose whatever I want to do in my life and no one else is there to block that. Its just me and my life. That always scared me before. I mean I had my own life and made my own decisions. But I was dependent on those around me even though i didnt really see it. If I ran out of money, my parents could come down and be me enough groceries to last a while. If I got sick, my boyfriend would make me soup and let me watch movies in his bed all day. If I got stressed out, I would have a dance party with my roomie or escape to Kate Sessions. There was always someone there to make it ok. And here, I had to do it all my self most of the time (with the exception of my incredible Austrian!!) And that means so much. I can do it.
I can’t believe a year has passed. I wouldn’t have it any other way. I love my life and everything that it has become.
“Experience is not what happens to you. It is what you do with what happens to you.” – Aldous Huxley