My Own Road To Paris – Part I

This posting will not be a description of the city or of an event and its intention is not only to share my impressions with Paris lovers.
It is personal and if you have difficulty with reading about one’s psychological and personal traits, believe me it is completely understandable; as for lots of persons, it is (or hopefully was) difficult for me as well to express and share personal and deep experiences and thoughts.
The new acquired ability (and “wisdom” if I allow myself to brag a little) is one of the gifts and gains of my new life in Paris and I am grateful to everyone who contributed to that.
Nevertheless, I believe that this story and my learning out of it, could be useful for anyone interested.
Perhaps it is also my own need to make public part of a long journey which started inside me.
Of course, it includes photos you can enjoy!

The story begins about three years ago.
Summer vacations were approaching for many people though not for me who had renounced that “luxury” for many years.
Yet, a professional dilemma, a staled personal life and the successful efforts I had made during the previous years called for a “recompensation” together with the need for an urgent change of  environment and a fresh look over my life.

Where to?
First of all somewhere I could afford.
My savings would not bring me even half way to New York which was a crazy dream (aren’t they all?) and on the other side I needed a rather “reflect-friendly” place which would not overwhelm me.
Same as in my life then, I searched to combine the known (safe) with the unknown (experience).  A usual trap in people’s lives which nevertheless was not a bad idea of a travel! 
I had visited Paris back in 1999, three hundred something days before the Millennium.
The, Oh! So few, things I remembered of the city had become a joke and I used to say that it was as if I had gone there blindfolded.
However I chose it among other places or countries, previously visited or not.
So Paris it was and my research begun!

Everything should be arranged, if possible “known” in advance.
It is utopian to attempt full predictability, if not a bit foolish and a clear evidence of a control freak personality. Yes, that was my attitude at the time. No spontaneity, nothing unpredictable.
History showed that we can program many things but never-ever the “turnings” of our soul and the desires of our heart.

My love for Paris was at first sight! (OK, second if the first-first counts.)
I guess that the same has happened to millions of people before and after mine.
One of the days of my visit, after a really heavy summer Parisian rain I decided to jump into the wheel – la roue.
When it started moving and I looked down I remembered my fear of height. No, it wouldn’t beat me.
The wheel turned, I managed my fear, I took photos and it was during those minutes over Paris and its rooftops when I prayed, wished and ultimately, I subconsciously decided to live there no matter what!
You can see some of the views in the following photos.
Who could “resist” amour?

I returned home on 15th August 2014 and by the end of September I had already started to send CVs and cover letters through various job sites – all unknown subjects for me but step by step I learned a lot about them!
It is normal to want/ need to work but do what exactly?
I had already changed three professional orientations. The most recent, journalism, had been an old dream which I had recently realized.
Work with a “dusted”, never used and long dormant French language?
Do what? Whatever, was my answer. It was of little importance.
Unfortunately, the months’ long searches remained fruitless.

Meanwhile, I stopped my collaboration with the newspaper and I was found with plenty of time to spend searching, worrying and dreaming.
As my desire to live in Paris intensified I started to question it.

“It” was managing to control me instead of me controlling it and that was unprecedented! 
At the same time I doubted my “ability” and/or strength to … dismantle my home, a beautiful apartment where I had been living the last fifteen years, freshly renovated after hard personal work and expenses.
It would be painful and it would mean the end of an era to which I had invested part of my life and myself.

Why I wanted it so much?
No reasoning could answer the question, obviously.
Wouldn’t it be “wiser” to plan a trip once in a while and satisfy my love for the place?
No substitute could replace living there; furthermore, my finances were not that strong.
On October 2015 though, I traveled once more, hoping to make some useful contacts in the domain of work. Indeed, I made contacts which gave no positive result. The difficulties remained.

The … urge combined to lack of results filled me with agony and self-doubt. I even wished to had never wanted it!
My indecision and conservatism (as I perceived my fear of separating ways from my old, safe and settled life), reached a level which became self-defeating.

I was between a rock and a hard place, between Scylla and Charybdis if you prefer!
Neither my dream to live in Paris nor my hesitation to abandon my country seemed logical to me (or probably to the part of me shaped by outside factors and influences).
My psychological immune system seemed to have collapsed.

My own self trapped me and at the same time discredited me.

No friend, family or acquaintances knew much about the … hot subject. The problem with dreams and ambitions is that in case they don’t get fulfilled, you feel not only the pain of failure but also ridiculed in front of others, apart from your own eyes – if you are that kind of person, and I was! Unfortunately, not sharing, also makes soul suffer and that’s a major problem.
However and rather stupidly, I did not think that sharing and discussing my thoughts would be of much help for an issue that was … internal.
Furthermore, the biggest part of realizations came later.
During a period of one and a half year I wasn’t completely aware of how, what, why, when, who, where (the … notorious five Ws/ questions of journalism).

So, only one person knew the details of my dream.
During that period, I was changing moods and decisions more often than dresses but s
he never judged, never urged me to do or not to do something while she never minimized my desire or my fears.
I am thankful to her and I know she is proud of me.

It was about one year ago, on March 2016, when a proposition for a job arrived.
While waiting a final answer, I started to plan practical details in my mind – packing, moving, settlements and arrangements for the needs of, before and after my hypothetical departure.

The plan seemed to take shape but the positive answer delayed.

…To be continued….

Photos: EliP©

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