…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.