Sometimes I think I was a gypsy in another life. I have the soul of a wanderer. I have always chased adventure and exploration. As a child mum said I was an independent leader, always running off on my own and prompting my younger siblings to follow me like ducklings behind their mama duck. I used to wish that dad was a diplomat and that we would travel every few years discovering new corners of the world and building a huge repertoire of contacts and experiences along the way. When I finally realized that would never happen, I started to dream that one day my prince charming would be a diplomat or an architect or lawyer whisking me off from one exotic locale to the next creating my own life behind his glamorous profession. You would think I’ve lost hope at this point but I look back at my life and I see that I have chased this dream through me. I have been the vehicle behind every move I have made, every leap of faith I have taken and every adventure I have embarked on. I have (at times) rebelled against my family, defied norms and stood firm behind the deep-seated feeling that pulls at me from somewhere deep inside my gut and so far (thank God) it has served me well.
I arrived in Paris exactly one month ago today. I’m finding this so hard to believe. All of last week, I told every new person I had met that I had been here for 2 weeks and a half. It wasn’t until the date registered in my mind a few days ago that it hit me. 1 month! It’s terrifying how fast time flies. But that’s the thing about time I guess. It creeps up on you so slowly until suddenly you realize that you are a little bit different and maybe a little bit wiser because something inside you has changed and because every new experience is a mark of growth. I know I’m not the same person I was one month ago. In these 30 days:
- I have acquired some new French words. My current favorite line is “pas de soucis” aka no worries. Doesn’t it sound beautiful?
- Befriended an awesome gay guy whose opinion on beauty and fashion fascinates, entertains and educates me every day
- Discovered some new arrondissements making me feel like more of a local
- Become comfortable using the metro without any need to consult maps
- Realized how (surprisingly) well I know my way around this city
- Lost 3 kgs (yay!)
- Consumed the best pain au chocolats from across my street – this is becoming a Saturday morning routine treat
- Discovered a strength in me I didn’t know I had
- Gained the trust of my new boss
- Became a part of the office…you know that feeling when you’re no longer “new”
- Got invited to a Parisian’s home. Apparently this is big.
- Became a “resident” with a new local French line and a Navigo pass!
- Learned that chou chou is a term of endearment and not a double cream puff
- I can now say that I have “lived” in Paris
It’s been an exciting month and one filled with so many different emotions but the one emotion that surfaces prominently is happiness. I feel happy and really proud of myself. There is a lot I miss and a lot I long for but deep down I am content. I cant wait to see what comes next because I havent even started to play explorer like I want to. Paris…this past 1 month of you has been incredible, but please go easy on me.
Here’s to adventure, exploration and leaps of faith because without them we are nothing.
“Whatever satisfies the soul is truth” — Walt Whitman
This is my truth.