So… I am in Paris!

…Well not exactly in Paris. I am in Jouy, a teensy suburb in the south of Paris. If I didn’t have to spend an entire year in this little village I would’ve said it’s straight out of a fairytale, with its tiny roads and pretty creeper covered houses. But I’m here to stay and just the thought of it freaks me out.

Jouy has been my home for three months now, but I am yet to feel at home. In fact, I am not sure if I will ever feel at home here… if I will ever be able to walk down its quite lanes without feeling like an intruder, an outsider. I don’t know if I will ever be able to strut down the aisle at Simply, happy to be grocery shopping. I don’t know if I will ever be thankful for Sundays, happy to be sipping coffee and reading a good book. I don’t know if I will ever be able to enjoy the snow.


I’ve had these thoughts in my head for such a long time now that I don’t even have to pause to think what I should write about next. My fingers are effortlessly chapping away at the keyboard, furiously typing the words that are flowing out of my head. Its strange because coherent expression doesn’t come naturally to me. But then, what do I know about myself?

In the beginning I thought the feeling of being away from home would fade away with time. That I would grow to love this beautiful place, with all its trees and lovely flowers. I have to admit that I am disappointed with myself for having failed to adjust to my new surroundings. I never thought that adapting to my new life would be such a monumental task that it would take every ounce of energy that I have.

I have never been on my own before. I always knew that leaving my home and people behind is going to be tough, but I never imagined that I would have to fight my way to get through every single day. The feeling of not being good enough, of not being cut out for this place keeps gnawing at me. Half of my day goes in wondering whether I would’ve been better off someplace else.

I miss home, I miss my friends. I miss feeling secure and protected. It’s so competitive out here— its like everybody is competing to get ahead of you—not pausing for a moment to look at your swollen eyes and broody face—not realising that you’re not okay—that you’re finding it hard to adapt to this rat race. I am yet to fall in love with the people here. Of course it’s not their fault, they’re who they are.

I know I shouldn’t feel this way. I am 22 and I need to learn to live on my own. I know I need to get comfortable in my own skin and not depend on anyone to feel engaged or happy. I know I need to organise my time during the week so that I can go to the city more often and enjoy Paris as I always imagined I would. I know I need to smile more often and stress a little less. I know I need to involve myself in activities, focus on learning learning new things and on becoming a better version of myself.

I know all this and yet I know nothing. I know that I will eventually be fine and look back at how everything turned out well in the end. But right now my head is not in the right place.

Right now, I just want to survive.


17 thoughts on “So… I am in Paris!

  1. HJa this reminds me of my year out in France aged 21. I too found it hard to adjust, I didn’t find the locals very welcoming at all, and I struggled to find my feet. I retreated into myself and ended up hanging round with English people for the remainder of the year, partying, getting drunk. Completely pissing the opportunity of being in that particular location down the drain. Like it meant nothing.
    My god it all looks so different now and I wish I could go back and try again!
    But you are who you are at that age, and later retrospect is worthless then.
    All I would say is that I completely empathise with your situation and how it feels. Yet, regardless how it feels, you are in a unique situation right now which will pass with a fierce swiftness. Trust me on that. Before you know it, you will be back home, and into a life of mundane 9-5 work, and you will look back on things like this year there as the special times in your life. You are not some place else, you are there. These problems would be the same in other places – also trust me on that! So you need to let that go and be happy with the place you chose. Paris is a very unusual place to be and French village life can have its own charming peculiarities.
    There will be things you can do there, clubs you can join, stuff you can go see(galleries, exhibitions). It’s effort and you won’t always feel like it BUT please try and push yourself to do some of that stuff. Then you won’t look back and regret doing nothing, plus these things tend to have secondary benefits, like meeting new people, or opening up new avenues of possibility.
    Reclaim your special year and make it special for you.
    I tell you what, even though I didn’t have the best time, I had to acknowledge that that year there changed me in positive ways I never expected. It made me more independent than I ever was before, it made me more open minded and open to new experiences. I felt like a bigger person when I returned home.
    So I don’t think you can lose, but why not try and cram some special stuff in too as a bonus? And take LOTS of photographs. Good luck 🙂


  2. 22 is young to be on your own in a foreign land. I think you’re doing very well, processing your emotions and sharing with all of us. Hang in there and don’t worry. It gets better with time. Been there. 🙂

    Just keep in touch with your friends and family – Skype them whenever possible.

    Good luck and do well. 👍

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I’ve been thinking of you over the last few months (& missing your lovely posts!)…despite your heartache you’ve written beautifully about where you’re currently living, in time, I hope you’ll begin to feel more comfortable in your own skin and claim your space in Jouy! I hope you’ll continue to write & reach out, you are dearly missed!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hello, again!

      Thank you for lovely comment. As always, it brought a smile to my face 🙂 I definitely plan to write more frequently for this blog, and otherwise. I think one good way to keep negativity at bay is to indulge in the things you love 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Take your time. Don’t rush it, don’t push it… do what you can, when you can, how you can. And don’t give a f%$k about what other people around you do! + keep in mind that Paris is a pretty crazy place with some pretty crazy people 😛 😉

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Aw honey, from what you’ve described Jouvy seems like an absolute dream!

    Hey girl, just because you’re 22 it doesn’t mean that you magically become a strong adult who has their shit sorted. Noway is that true believe me cause it’s hard adjusting in a new city let alone a whole new country.So cut yourself some slack! You’re feelings are absolutely justified and it doesn’t mean you’re the weakling. It means that you are a normal human being. ❤
    Even I had the ‘omg sometimes people are so unkind’ phase then later on I also had the ‘fuck people’ kinda phase. Well it takes time and it’s a slow process but I promise you with everything I have that you’ll not only survive but thrive in Paris!🙂❤

    It only takes time.. anytime you’re feeling low and alone. Go around the safe parts of the city in the morning clicking pictures and documenting the beauty of that scenic place. Document those moments of snow and sun. That would definitely make you more observant of your blessings.

    Lots of love!!

    Liked by 1 person

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