We arrived in Paris on December 26, 2016. The city itself is beautiful, romantic and bustling. But I feel as though I’ve just been floating, and not so much in a ‘Midnight in Paris’, dreamy sort of way, but more in a way where I’m just watching people and events happen in front of me, and I’m just observing from the outside, rather than being a part of it (which is exactly what is happening at this stage, I suppose).
I’m not doing a fabulous job of explaining myself, but I think the best way to describe it is that I’m coming to a very slow realisation, with each tiny experience, that we have moved here. Albeit it is for a short period in the grand scheme of everything, but the feeling that this is a significant moment, is only sinking in now.
At this point, let me be completely clear that I realise just how an amazing an experience this is. I’m painfully aware that this might read as ‘Paris is fine you know, but…‘. Paris is not just fine. Paris, and living in Paris is balls out amazing. I know that being able to drop our lives in Melbourne to live in another country is something so special and possibly one of those once-in-a-lifetime opportunities. This isn’t me trying to say that I’m #blessed, but rather that ‘grateful’ doesn’t begin to cover my sentiments towards this whole situation.
I’ve only been truly out of my comfort zone a handful of times; when I resigned from a corporate job to work in a kitchen as a pastry apprentice; whenever I have visited my mother’s homeland, Pakistan; and that’s all the comes to mind. Sure, when situations spring up in day to day life it is uncomfortable, but those are momentary inconveniences, some larger than others, that I can usually solve. And they usually have a tangible solution within my reach. For example, I was so unhappy in my corporate position that I knew that my career change would ultimately improve my mental health, thereby outweighing any temporary discomfort.
This feels different. This feels like I’m floating (that word again), and I think a significant contributing factor is that I’m yet to find employment. Many of us are defined by the work we do, and I’m one of those. I also don’t like having loads of free time, because I know that I’m the poster girl for the phrase ‘an empty mind is the devil’s workshop’. When I started working at Le Croissant, my hours shifted, and my working day was from roughly 4am to anywhere from 11am to 2pm, depending on the day. I found that I had so much time left to play with when I finished work, and it became clear that this was an opportunity for me to work on my business. So after I finished work, I would go home, switch gears slightly, and work on Beurre Cakes & Pastries. Over the 3 plus years that I was at Le Croissant, I also grew my little business, and it flourished in its own small way.
The crux of it is that I feel that I will be a failure if I don’t get a job. The visual I get in my mind is of all the people I know and love in my life, waving a giant red banner spelling out F-A-I-L-U-R-E, which is always encouraging and never induces any anxiety whatsoever, and especially not at 3.30am. These next few months will be a new opportunity to manage that fear, and hopefully, as each day folds into the next, the floating will settle down and I will start to feel like I’m a part of the city of Paris.
In other news, we stumbled across this giant Christmas tree bauble in la Défense, so I logically stood in it, thereby solidifying my love for all things Christmas related (regardless of the glaring fact that I don’t celebrate Christmas, which doesn’t matter because sparkly).
À bientôt mes amis!