I just had to create another post for some thoughts running through my head that I wanted to type before I’ve forgotten them.
As I was preparing some chamomile tea for myself before bed, I was standing in my kitchen space and thinking to myself how truly happy I am. I love this little apartment. This apartment is a dream actualizing. It doesn’t bother me how small it is (it’s actually a perfect size for just me) because the view of Parisian rooftops is a literal dream come true, and it’s my home. Here. Mine. My time, effort, hard work, affirmations, fantasies, mine. All mine. As my darling, Ernest Hemingway, once wrote, “You belong to me and all Paris belongs to me and I belong to this notebook and this pencil.” This apartment is my creative space, it’s my adventure planning space, it’s my personal space, it’s my relaxation space, it’s my “living-out-my-fantasies” space, it’s my true Parisienne space.**
But I’ve also made the quick realization as to how different life is when living in a country than when you visit. I see people posting, and believed myself, about the “simple life” of Europe, and what a dream it is. And truly it is spectacular, endlessly inspiring, full of wonderment around every corner, but it’s also pretty frustrating. Sometimes my credit cards don’t work (how the hell am I supposed to pay for anything?). If you have an issue, more often then not, people say “not my problem,” in very quick French. Getting a bank account was near impossible. Renting an apartment was only simplified through the assistance of an agency and a backup of funds. Everything is insanely expensive and the work underpaid. Lots of poverty hidden in areas and not-so-hidden in others.
Life is simplified in the sense that people do truly take it slow here, appreciate moments, encourage patience (or you’ll never get through any bureaucratic nonsense), and have la joie de vive that makes you excited to be in the city. But it’s hard. The transition was terrifying, and the costs are raking in, so it’s hard. And when you’re doing the journey alone it’s a bit harder or lonelier – and honestly, this is my dream coming to fruition so I’m glad to be doing it alone. It’s all part of this experience, this completion of my dream-journey, this personal lesson and moment of growth. I’m grateful for all of it. Truly, everything and every experience I am taking in and appreciating what it’s bringing to my life and how real it’s making these moments in this city for me.
But I really do wake up every morning grateful to be here and thankful to be doing this. I wake up every morning so excited to explore what this city has to offer me. I wake up wondering what corner I may go around next and what discoveries will be made. This is still the most beautiful city in the world to me, with the most outstanding architecture, history, magic… And knowing I’m walking the same cobblestones that inspired my literary hero just adds to everything else. What a dream, what a dream, what a dream…
I am still having difficulty processing this experience.
It still continues to feel surreal to me.
Maybe once work truly begins it will really start to kick-in, because right now I’m still thinking, “Man, I’d love to call this home.” And I am. And… what? How? When? WHAT?! I’m still blown away by that…
I may have more blog posts like this because sometimes I get emotional from how grateful I feel. Paris may have been my dream, my number one goal, but Paris is just the beginning. And I had no idea the beginning could feel so much like the fireworks of a finale.
That’s what all of life should feel like.
This is what life is about.
Someone is playing classical music on a piano at midnight in an apartment on a work-night and I don’t even care. I’m taking it in. This is Paris. I want all of it. I want everything it has to share with me. I don’t want to miss a drop.
Thank you, God.
Thank you, Universe.
Thank you to me, for following through on my dream. I won’t ever forget this and how it made me feel.
I posted this in an old Parisian-Dreaming post on this blog, and I’m posting it again:
This is my time. What mountains will I move, next?
** My space is missing my children, though – my fur babies add something special to my day and add warmth and love to my nights. They filled holes in my heart I didn’t think would ever be filled. A home is not truly the same without them. But this is part of my journey right now, and I accept that and am grateful for my parents making it easier for me.