I traveled to Paris the 1st of January. When I got here, I made the mistake of taking a nap, so when it came time to sleep I wasn’t able to until the next morning. This is a picture of the window of the small studio I was staying at the first few days in Le Marais. I sat by the window, reading and writing until the sun came up which in January was around 8:30 AM. (Starting the year off with a screwed up sleeping schedule is very typical of me).
The first 2 months in Paris have been incredible, exhausting, challenging… every thing I was expecting and more. This has been a goal of mine for quite awhile. Paris to me has never been a place of fantasy, but of culture, of history, of practicality; the reason I chose Paris is to finally perfect my French after many years of studying it, and to immerse myself in a culture I’ve spent years learning about. But I also yearned to continue developing different artistic, personal, global perspectives. I am lucky to be able to do this. It’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day routine anywhere. One of the things I’ve quickly learned is the skill of autonomy which the French perfect quite well; when you’re in the midst of a new change, it’s imperative to seek out a) things that make you feel more at home like keeping up with your hobby for example and b) things that are brand new that will scare you and excite you. The key phrase being “seek out.” I was talking to two friends about this the other night over beer: what people don’t tell you is that studying abroad can be lonely. But it’s that type of loneliness that is fruitful, or can be, if you take that loneliness and invest it towards something rewarding and fulfilling for yourself. It’s all in your hands.
Today instead of taking the metro, I walked home after my last class. I looked around conscious of the history and culture I was breathing and felt a happiness I haven’t quite felt before: a happiness that was autonomous, self-serving, genuine and very much full of gratitude.