As I sit here listening to the rain fall in my small (overpriced) studio on my last night in Paris, I can’t help but think how relieved I am to be moving to sunny, happy Italia tomorrow.
I try to muster more negative thoughts as a way of protecting myself from that horrible reality that is saying goodbye. Kind of like telling yourself that your ex really wasn’t that cute.
I try. And I can’t.
Yes, it did rain a lot.
Yes, some people were rude.
And yes, you really did just pay THAT for THAT.
They say that when you’re happy and sad to leave a place then you know that you are leaving at just the right moment.
Paris was an escape and chance at a new adventure for me when I felt that my life had come to a complete stand still. (hard to believe this happened while living as an expat in Chile, huh?)
So as much as I’d like to focus on the negatives to make saying goodbye that much easier, I have to admit, I’m walking away a better person and with memories I’ll save for a lifetime.
Paris has forced me to gain the confidence to be brave and say hello to a stranger when I didn’t have any friends nearby to talk to.
Paris has given me all these wonderful, multicultural friends, but it has also taught me the difference between being alone and feeling lonely. There were moments during the second time ’round in Chile where I felt that strange “alone in a crowded room” feeling. Here, I’ve never been more independent in my life. I’ve gained an “I can do anything” attitude that I hope will lead me in good directions.
Paris has reignited that curiosity that moves me to explore, travel and learn. I’ve looked into teaching in China, Brazil and even Georgia. The country, not the southern state 😉
(photo cred: Kelvin Leung)
Paris has taught me. I know a little more about places I like to be, how I like to work, and with whom I like to be friends (don’t worry! I don’t discriminate too much)
Above all, Paris has taught me not to be afraid.
I showed up suffering from a bit of a broken heart and all different kinds of culture shock (from Chile I went on a family vacation, then home to the US for two weeks and then finally to France). I didn’t have a job. I didn’t speak the language. And I didn’t have a single friend.
Little by little I overcame the culture shock. I found a job I loved. I learned the language (kinda). And I made friends I plan on keeping far beyond France. I’ve gained a new sense that I can go anywhere, meet anyone and do anything I want without any fear to hold me back.
And for all this I thank you, Paris. Bonne nuit.