I came, I saw, I lived it up!  
Nez Current  

The nose knows.
No. 4  |  48°N/2°E

The end to our first month of our yearlong stay in Paris is quickly approaching.  Looking back, the month has been filled with times of exploration and points of finding ways to settle into our new home.

Once we had finally unpacked all of our belongings (all 4 large suitcases of clothes) into our new apartment there was that surreal feeling of “wow, we finally made it!!”  Just as quickly as we thought that SF was so far away we learned that the comforts of family were not so far away from our new home.  In fact, we realized that with all the different forms of communication (email, Skype, unlimited free international calls, etc.) our family was in close proximity to our new home.  Which left us asking ourselves if we really had left SF or was this in fact just a facade for the dream that we had hoped to make a reality.

After a couple of weeks of being on our own in Paris and settling in like a true Parisian we were joined by my sister and her family.  The Parisian lifestyle of sitting in cafes or hanging out at the park was then substituted by the tourist’s mentality.  We took on a faster day-to-day pace of exploring museums, shops, and other famous monuments that Paris has to offer.  After the first week we all travelled to Germany to meet up with my dad.  In true tourist fashion we all searched the German countryside for castles and knights (although at a slightly slower pace than in Paris).  At the end of our “vacation,” when everyone returned to their homes in les États-Unis, we realized that we would be returning to our home — Paris.   Another surreal moment overcame us.

It still feels unbelievable that this is our new home.  But like any new city, we hope to find our way through it, enjoy the time spent here together, and take advantage of all the opportunities provided to us through this experience.
 
 
 
  The world is a playground, whether at the Jardin du Luxembourg ...
 
 
 
   ... or on the rolling hills of Heidelberger Schloss.
 
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No. 2   |  37°N/122°E
 

When will he ask me???  As I wake up every morning I ponder to myself, may this be the day that the question will roll off his lips and I will immediately jump up with joy and say “YES, YES, YES!”  At night, I sometimes have dreams of where we may be when the question is popped.  Will the ambiance be dark or light?  Will it be crowded or private?  Will there be music or dancing?  Maybe the question will even be asked spontaneously as we stroll along the Seine in Paris or just as we are about to approach the Champs-Élysées.  It is often on my mind (sometimes too much) and even before I go to bed I look over at him all snuggled up beside me and wonder "does he think about it as much as I do?"  

But lately it appears that I may have to wait just a little bit longer, because right now the timing is just not right.  We have determined that although we will live together happily “forever” it is best not to think about “the question” too much for the time being.  We have our lives ahead and they must consist of healthy choices.  And, spontaneous sweet fantasies may have to be postponed until a later date.

Therefore, at the end of the night it is with dismay that I must hand the dessert menu back to the waiter and say, “no thank you, not tonight, I don’t think we will be having any desert.”  And I know Riot is right when he does not ask me the question:   “Are you sure you don’t want any desert?”  Today, it is probably best to avoid the sweet indulgences so that we can focus on the things that really matter in life.  There will be plenty time for the other thing in the years to come.

 
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No. 1   |  37°N/122°E
 
The saying goes something like “take control of the things that you can control and let go of the things that you can’t control” or “don’t sweat the small stuff.”  It sounds simple enough, but in practice it is much harder to follow.  I find myself struggling with how to really implement and practice just letting go of the small stuff and not consuming my thoughts with the things that don’t really matter.  The more I do show myself that I am strong enough to take control of the things that do matter, the more growth I feel that I have made within myself.  And I guess in the end, growing as a person is what really matters to me.
 
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