Summertime

Every year I anxiously anticipated summer. Freedom. Sunshine. Fun.

This year? Summer just brings good-byes, no time off and loads of good-byes. Not the childhood memory I was so fond of.

It’s the end of June and we have yet to see summer weather. July marks the end of several people’s time here in Paris. And don’t even get me started on how insane work is. It is times like this that I wonder why I took lazy, sunny San Diego days for granted. Honestly, I just want to plop my butt in the sand and soak in summer. Yet for some reason this summer I am exceptionally stressed out and frustrated.

I don’t know what I want. I love Paris. But I also hate it. Truth be told. I talked about my serious relationship with this city awhile back but now it has turned slightly abusive and I can’t break away. Work is honestly eating my soul and I keep having to prepare myself for goodbyes. No consistency, no control. I am spontaneous and go with the flow but I am not going to lie… I am a bit of a control freak like the rest of my family and lately I feel like I have no control.

Thinking about moving back stateside gives me serious anxiety. This has been my life for 2 years. And I see what happens to some of the expats that return–they just want to figure a way to come back. I know I could come back if I wanted to but moving back seems like an even bigger decision than the one I took to move to France. I don’t know why.

Maybe it’s because I know I have changed or the people I knew so well changed, or both. Or maybe it’s because I have I don’t think I will really fit back stateside. Or maybe it’s just my weird obsession with Paris.

I know going back to California would not be the end of the world. In fact, I am sure it would be good. There are days I can’t think of anything else besides moving home but then it seems like something in this city all draws me back in. I am so proud of my experience here. It was honestly the best decision I made. It seems weird to end it all. But I know one day I probably will. As much as I love it here, I am not convinced this is the city for the rest of my life. I’m a mover… I think I will experience several cities before finding my home.

Until then, I would really like if Paris could get its butt in gear and give me some summer!!!

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My Year in Numbers

Number of days spent in France: 366

Vaux sur Seine’s population vs San Diego’s: 4,000 vs 1,223,400

Miles between Southern California and Paris: 5,600

Number of countries visited: 7

Size of my very own place in Paris: 15 square meters

Visits to the Prefecture: 10+

Average number of roses given to me in a night out: 2

Number of trains I have been stuck on a runaway train and had to jump off: 1

Number of months the French pension strike occurred: 2

Number of years ago France had such a cold winter and as much snow as 2010: 25

Amount of Euros I was paid  per week as an au pair: 90

Cost (in euros) of a (cheap) pint of beer in Paris: 5

Number of trips up 6 flights of stairs to move: 8+

Number of baguettes eaten on average per week: 2

Average number of liters a French person drinks of wine a year: 57

Average number of people who read ride the Paris every day: 4.5 million

Average number of minutes daily spent on the metro for my work commute: 50

Average rainfall in inches in Paris vs. San Diego: 24 vs. 12

Average number of times I still talk to my mom A DAY: 2 🙂

Number of marriage proposals I have received this year: 5+

Number of times a night random French guys will tell you “you are ze most beauuteeefulll gurl in ze world”: 15+

Number of scarves I own: 15

Average number of times I had to clean up caca a week as an au pair: 5

Average number of people who visit Paris a year, in millions: 30

Times I have gone home since living here: 1

3 things I don’t know how I lived without: unpasteurized cheese, lebanese food, boulangeries

3 things I could definitely live without: France closing down on Sundays, French administration, lack of sunshine in the winter

 

Number of times I have regretted my decision to move abroad: 0

Being in a Long-term Relationship

I have just recently realized I am in a long-term relationship. I understand this is quite a strange thing to realize and to not just know, but it wasnt until my very long conversation with my mom (i am sure y’all are now starting to catch on we talk quite often…) that I was able to articulate my feelings.

France. I have been here just about 9 months. It really has been the best time of my life. However, there are days I just want to quit. It honestly has been a roller-coaster of emotions… excitement, curiosity, disappointment, stress, satisfaction, happiness… the list goes on. The other day I watched a movie I had watched right before I came here, Julie & Julia. I remember the feeling I had watching Meryl Streep walk through Paris–it was a giddy, sort of butterflies-in-my-stomach feeling. I couldn’t believe I was moving there and although terrified, my excitement overwhelmed me. Recently when I watched it, it was a whole new feeling. Now, instead of adoration and curiosity of unknown territory, I merely was filled with happiness–happiness that I could point out what street or place Meryl Streep was on/in and that I too had fond memories of that exact place. I am in love.

Life has been hectic, chaotic, and stressful lately. Many people find it very hard to understand why someone would put themselves through all this in order to stay longer for more torture. There are two things I know I am, loyal and stubborn. For one, once I am in a relationship, I find it quite hard to break away from it no matter how crappy the other person (well place in this case) is. And secondly, my mind is made up. I am staying in France.

There is another revelation I had in this conversation with my mom. A part of me never felt right at home. Dont get me wrong– I love the states and San Diego will forever be the greatest place on this planet in my eyes. But what I am saying is, there was always something a little weird about what I wanted or how I thought. It makes sense here. I mean there is a huge part of me that feels completely out of whack here too, but that little part I could never figure out just fits. The people I meet here and the way they see things seem to be more parallel to my thinking.

So here I am in my long-term relationship that I can’t seem to, and dont want to, break up with. It is right for right now. I have no idea how long we will last, but I am happy knowing I am in it right now for the long haul. I will take the tears along with the laughs and try my hardest to make this work.

I love you, France.

Slices of Life

I decided to mix it up a bit and do something new. I am a little bit obsessed with pictures… taking them and then looking at them over and over. So as I was reminiscing about a time that Europe … Continue reading