How I see myself after 3 years in Paris

Three years in the middle of your twenties mean a whole lot of growing up, in a bitter-sweet mix of disenchantment and empowerment. When you spend them away from home, the mixture gains new dimensions, wide and deep. There is no reality check that makes you face yourself in a more radical way, than that of cutting off the familiar. Feeling like those little birds you watched on animal shows, or young wild cats, deciding it’s time to leave the nest and take the maturity test, make your own initiation into whatever life you chose, hunt down the necessities with the four limbs and one head you were born with, making out little by little what your gut feeling is like. Perhaps, trading surviving and living more often than you expected, only now realizing how stubborn you are. Stubborn, stupid, who knows.

Paris put me through tests I could never make up in my imagination. Some I did, admittedly. The bureaucratic kind. All the rest life took care of. Teaching me step by step how strong and fragile I am. Yes, both at the same time. How resourceful and quick to learn, forced to compromise, yet rarely bending, too. How joyful my soul bottom is despite my melancholic surface. How I’m so full of feelings and emotions, the complicated and the simple, it’s sometimes hard to handle for myself, let alone others who judge me as sentimental, but I’m capable of it, or am in the process of learning at least. How it’s always easier to believe in a made-up image, yet the truth is so much more beautiful, even when it is hard, cold and cruel. That there is freedom in truth. How my deep personal roots are connected to everyone around me, how I can stand alone and still continue to reach for others, other human beings sharing my experiences, and even those who don’t.

I see all of it, now, while I’m slowly getting adjusted to the fact that some day I will probably go back. Feeling life might push me that way. Not backwards, though. I know now, too, I will come home different. I’m letting go of what I might want from life and trying to discover what life has in store for me. I’m not willing to force it anymore. If the only way for Paris to stay my home is living a life I don’t find enriching anymore, I rather go back. In someone else’s words: I love this city, but I love myself more. I love people who are my real or chosen family more. Those people who truly matter and know you for who you are. If, by some magical force, my second home is willing to accept me as I am and watch me grow further, I’ll stay.

I now wonder if I could go through such a process of opening up back home, in my comfortable cocoon, I understand fully now the urge that pushed me out of it years ago. Maybe, being more yourself means defining that self less. (It’s like biting your own teeth, a quote my best friend told me last week during one of our ”deep talks” – which one isn’t?) Letting the cage around it melt, brick by brick, and let the seed you clung to grow into a forest. Oh fuck it : I like my sentimentality. It means I feel life from the bottom up and not sleeping my way through it. I let myself fall for it entirely, even when I’m trying to deny it or think it’s not the moment for it.

I still see people dying a little because of the restrictions to their feelings, to their expressions, to their intelligence, to their creativity, to their independence, to their being, every day. Back then, it was the reason for moving to Paris, now, I’ll have to see if I didn’t step into it, enclose myself in a trap, clinging to a cycle that is finishing up. Let life itself show me if the next one can continue here or not. Hopefully, a less sentimental one. Anyway, I’m giving myself time and not apologizing for it.

Another rant post, right, life’s quite heavy this year.

Author: IvonaBi

A Slovenian in my late twenties, living between Ljubljana and Paris. Lover of life, books, travel, music, art, philosophy, and love. Passionate and numb in different intervals. Above all : curious. 
I travel to survive the jungle of my soul. On ordinary days, I just savour city streets to ease it.

13 thoughts on “How I see myself after 3 years in Paris”

  1. I totally agree that moving abroad makes you confront yourself in ways you never thought possible, and also realize that maybe some of the things you were so nervous about were just in your head the whole time! Any ideas where you will be moving next? South of France? Back home?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Exactly! 🙂 right now, everything’s still open, I have a couple of options here, if they don’t work out, I might consider going home, but I would love to spend at least some time in the South before that. It depends a lot on money, too 🙂 And you? Where are you heading next? 🙂


  2. Maybe, the life’s heavy this year, but I don’t feel it in your text. I feel the poetry of it, the lessons you’ve been learning. Getting so more mature, so more human.
    I love your idea of “being yourself” – letting go of definitions. Of who you are. Learning – and letting go what you have learnt. So much wisdom in it.
    It seems like you came to Paris to discover freedom – but staying longer here won’t feel like freedom anymore. I don’t know why it is so. But I too feel similar feeling. Maybe, because the freedom is better felt in moving than in staying?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for such a beautiful comment! You captured perfectly my thoughts, about freedom… It’s what I have been wondering for a while now. Moving and moving where then? Always forward or allowing yourself to go back to the first departure point? Learning to let go is a wisdom I still have to work on, though. It’s a long process, and admitting something you genuinely love is maybe not right for you is a hard one to take. But if you learn to trust life meanwhile, it gets easier 🙂 can’t believe growing up takes so long hehehe

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think, we have captured each other thoughts :)) I do a lot of thinking about freedom too, calling myself a modern gypsy, and so your post resonated easily with it.

        I guess, growing never stops (or when it stops, then we die), so there is no rush, since there is no final destination. You are always growing, always learning, complicating and simplifying some things, so I just try to enjoy the process :))
        Yeah, what we love and what is right doesn’t always coincide, but we still have choices, and I am happy when I can realize it and see :))

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Yes, all of this is very true 🙂 I’d be boring, too, knowing you have arrived at your destination, even if it wasn’t death, it might feel like one 😀 I’m just trying to be curious too right now, it can be a wonderful feeling 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

          1. I see the meaning of my life as riding bicycle – as long as I am moving, I am stable. When I stop, I fall.
            I guess, change is the natural affair of all things, and it is ok to feel this way. I am more suspicious of people who praise the achieved stability, especially here in Norway it is said to be so stable and safe. But I just cannot buy it! :))


  3. Lucky are those who are able to read signs. Because there are… The more I think about it, the more it seems that one of the meanings of life is mobility, moving there and back and there again, taking the best of all worlds. Much love and luck to you.

    Liked by 1 person

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