When you reach a certain age, society tells you that you’re supposed to have specific things in place; to be some way towards reaching an intangible goal. When a few years down the line, you finally understand that having that perfect career, working your way up the ladder, and maintaining a rich and full social life is all but impossible, you’ll probably kick yourself in the foot and scold yourself for not trying hard enough. And that’s a huge problem. With so much pressure to achieve the perfect work-life balance, we’re practically destined to fail; pitting ourselves against a version of life that is simply not achievable.
18 months or so ago, I upped and left home; focused on a better life in Paris. Turning in my quiet country home for a major European capital was just the move I needed, I told myself. I could finally realize my dream of becoming a fully fledged writer- with a social life to envy on the side. I had already lived in Paris for a year when I was younger. I worked as an au pair, and was familiar with the French landscape. I told myself that coming back to live as a permanent resident would be a doddle. I had done this all before, right?
Moving abroad brought a mixed bag of emotions, and although uprooting my life to Paris had been something I knew I wanted to do for quite some time, I could never put my finger on exactly why the city seemed like such a good fit for me. Ask anyone else and they’ll tell you that Parisians are mean, the city is dirty, and the expenses of everyday life are through the roof. It is, of course, all true, and while there’s no denying that things can certainly feel like this on a bad day, there’s something about the city that makes dealing with the bad things worth it.
Paris has an imperceptible energy and for some reason, for whatever reason, I knew that the French capital was where I needed to be in order to guide my life in the direction I so desperately wanted to go. My life, finally, would be on the road to being perfect, and perfection was the goal. Reality however, has a way of getting in the way of the best plans, and while I had a vision of what my life should be like living abroad, my Parisian dream felt like it was just out of reach from the start.