6 months between posts is probably a bit too long. So much has happened since June, in so many aspects of my life. Every time I've sat down to write a post it was too overwhelming and intimidating and I gave up.
But here we go! Bullet-point, style- because that's way less intimidating.
So since my last post in June...
- Accepted an offer to live and work in central Paris, and moved into my very own little studio at the start of July. In the midst of a serious canicule/heatwave- I spent the first few days sitting in front of a floor fan alternating between cold showers and eating ice cubes. Even as a native of South Louisiana who has survived my share of sweltering summer temperatures- the struggle was real. And let's not forget that A/C just isn't really a "thing" here.
- Spent a week running around the south of Spain with Nadalee, eating tapas and hanging out on the beach. We have been plotting a trip back ever since. Pictures to come!
- Went to the U.S. for 5 long weeks and spent lots of quality time with so many loved ones. And yet still did not see everyone. Did eat everything though. Everything. Came back to Paris all puffed up from the best Louisiana has to offer.
- Started working in September, and school in October. The kids are so lovely, and the mother is such a jewel. She loves my Monday evening recaps of my ridiculous weekends, ("...and the last thing I remember is dancing to the Spice Girls and singing La Marseillaise...") laughing hysterically while encouraging me to be young and live and experience it all. She also gives pretty solid life advice. I'm lucky to have her in my world.
- School is going well, if not a little overwhelming. I have two hours of class every day, compared to the four hours a week I had before in Senlis. In the last 2 weeks we've had a Beaujoulais Nouveau tasting party in place of class, and an outing to a salon du vin (aka heaven on earth) of independent wine producers from all over France. Vraiment..c'est pas mal. Pas du tout.
- My best friend of 23 years, Emily, came to visit in October. I had my first solo travel experience, spending a few days in Barcelona before she arrived. The following week we set off for 5 days in Dublin. This was such an amazing trip. I'm still impressed that we survived. I can't wait to post more about it and share photos!
- Had to make some mutually difficult decisions regarding my long-term, long-distance relationship and the fact that what started out as a 1 year adventure has evolved into a currently open-ended residency in a country that I love. I am beyond fortunate to have spent the last 3 years with someone so supportive of me chasing my dreams and happy to still be able to count him as a friend.
- I've been here for a year! OVER a year at this point. I finally memorized my phone number and even won a sassy email fight with my French bank- but I still don't have a carte vitale and I still ask waiters for a carafe de l'eau instead of a carafe d'eau. You win some, you lose some.
- Friday November the 13th arrived, and my adopted home came under attack. At some point, I will write about this day and the aftermath. For now, just know that this city is filled with the most resilient people I've ever known and it is beautiful. There is still fear- we're all changed. I see it and feel it every day-when a car backfires in the distance or the lights flicker in the metro and there's a fleeting look of unease on every rider's face- but what I feel much, much more is that we're here and we're living and we're breathing and we're still loving life in the way that this city is just so good at. And no, leaving never crossed my mind- Paris is home.
- I celebrated Friendsgiving with the loveliest mix of American, French and Canadian friends. It was such a perfect evening with incredible food and conversation and definitely eased some of the sadness of not being with my family for the holidays.
- It is officially December 1st, and I have not bought a plane ticket home for Christmas. Which means I will likely be alone in Paris for the holidays, unless I find a cheap ticket to spend them alone elsewhere. Unless I brave the ~14 hour each way Megabus to accept Katie's sweet invite to spend Christmas in England with her family. We'll see. The thought of being alone at Christmas for the first time definitely feels bleak, but it's nothing that I can't handle (famous last words?) In any case, Katie will be in Paris for 2 whole weeks right after Christmas and I can't wait to gossip over bottles of wine and dance until dawn with one of my favorite people on the planet.