Friday, October 29, 2010

How did three months turn into three years? Have I really been in Paris for that long? It’s funny how what started as a three-month visit just kind of quickly became living here indefinitely. And, man, is it amazing how much has happened in three years! I’ve gotten married, landed a good job, learned French, and I’m starting to finally recover from what felt like perpetual homesickness.

I’m not really sure if it’s a good thing or not, but those constant lingering urges to return to my homeland, to be with my kinfolk and back on the range have finally abated. Don’t get me wrong, I still miss my country (and family and food), but not with an overbearing intensity that brings me down so low that I can’t relish in the happiness of my current home. I imagine that much of my change of heart has to do with how I've really started to adapt to a new culture and new language. I feel like I can finally say that I’ve learned French. I’m not fluent by any means, but I live comfortably now in a language I avoided listening to just three years ago. I spend my day having conversations in French with my colleagues; I don’t need to bring a script with me every time I run an errand; and overall, I feel more confident in expressing myself.

On top of that, I've come to just accept France for what it is. It was hard at first for me to balance out the good and the bad, but I feel like I've approached a point where all the negative things about living here can be trumped just enough by the positive. People are generally rude, but they also generally dress well. Black beans and pinto beans cost an arm and a leg, but wine is cheap as dirt. It's super cold in the winter, but the city is drop-dead gorgeous in the fall. And so on and so forth.

Also, I think a lot of these new feelings about my life here are a product of my slight anxiety towards my approaching 30th birthday. It being about half a year away now, I’m starting to get the urge to settle down, create some permanence and stability in my life. Besides Gui, there really is nothing keeping me here or pulling me there, and it’s not like he’s any clearer on the subject of where we should land. While he's looking around for a new gig, I’m still waiting for some confirmation on how things are going to proceed with my job. We’re both itching to get into an apartment with more space and ideally, we’d like to buy our next abode or at least be a bit closer to ownership. While I'd love to announce that we have a plan, for the moment, nothing's in the works for a big move either here or there. I do, however, feel some big changes coming on, and I think these next few months into the new year will provide a lot of insight about how our next three years will pan out. Stay tuned.


Anonymous said...

Sarah, I have to say that I have seen you grown into the wonderful little French girl you are. :) I know how those feelings of idleness makes you think about home. I could have taken your words out of my mouth 5 years ago! I've been here now for over 7 years and I'm not looking back. It does take time to get used to things. I always tell people give France two, maybe three years. It seriously takes that long to get used to this culture. As rich and amazing as it is and as well as I've adapted to it I will never stop being SO AMERICAN. Someone said that to me recently and I said, THANK YOU!

I think you're doing great and I love seeing you being so sucessful and happier in your life now. I look forward to seeing what you do in the future. I hope we're still friends then! :)

PS. Just as a reminder of the good 'old US of A. I'm making halloween goodies for Tricot Matin this weekend. At least I know you of all people will appreciate it! :)

Ashleigh said...

Good for you! I miss the States, but I don't MISS the States...I love Spain...I, too, think the good definitely outweighs the annoying...keep enjooying it!

misplaced texan said...

Thank you girls, so much! :)

Amy75 said...

I really enjoyed reading this post. I'm coming up on my 5th year anniversary - I can really relate, especially to the second to last paragraph about French people :) Happy early birthday!

misplaced texan said...

Thank you, Amy. It's so great to know that there really is a process of adaptation when one moves abroad. I feel like I've passed over that really, REALLY steep hill and I'm finally at a place where I feel comfortable being the real me in this foreign city. Glad you could relate. :)

Anonymous said...

Hi, this is such a great blog, and it's like you're living my dream life! I studied abroad for a semester in Paris 2008-2009 and I've been dying to go back ever since.

If you don't mind me asking, how did you find a job in Paris and do you have any suggestions for Americans who want to work in Paris? I know there's the option of teaching English, but I don't know of much else... I graduated from college in the spring and I can understand most spoken French, but I definitely need to work on being braver and more fluent in my speaking.

Please email me at if you don't wish to respond here.

Thank you so much!

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