April 28th marked a monumental date for me. I celebrated a whole year that I have lived in Paris. To complete the year I put together a scrapbook of these past months. There is nothing that helps you put time into perspective like compiling every photo you have taken, every paper or sticker you have collected, every letter you have received and every ticket you have bought. It shows you all of the things that you have done, the things that have changed in you and the things that you have yet to see.
I have actually been here long enough to see the city change and I’ve changed quite a bit too.
I have done so many things. And some of the most amazing things have now become a day-to-day activity like walking in front of Notre Dame, reading a book by the Seine, or drinking a coffee on a terrace where some of the greatest pieces of French literature were created. But even though they are everyday they are far from mundane.
When I came to Paris I was so sure of who I was and what I wanted to do next but now a year later I see that I was basically a freshman again. I don’t know what I am doing next, what I really want from life or who I really am. But for the first time I’m actually asking the hard biting questions and finding out who I am instead of creating some personality I believe fits better into the world .
Life here can be frustrating but mostly it is all technicalities and once you have learned to work through the system ( or suck-it up and realize there is nothing to do but accept the ways of the French) then all you are left with is the beauty of this place that is Paris.
I came here running. It started out as running away from something and now i feel like I’m running TOWARDS something though I’m not all too sure what that I yet. In the year I have been here I’ve never felt closer to being who I really am and I can only hope that in the next year to come that person can become stronger.
So cheers to another year in Paris of chasing buses, freezing my butt off, sipping difficult to order coffee, smelly hot metros, desperately searching for the milk in the grocery store, celebrating American holidays in French ways, and to new discoveries every day.