One year ago today, I looked around the empty apartment that Rio and I had bought and shared for five years, locked up and said goodbye to New York. I was off to Paris and despite having incredible worries about risking my career and not being able to make a single friend, I was willing to leave it all behind for Rio and the other love of my life: Paris.
Do I ever miss New York? Sure – there are some hard, lonely days where I think about what the NYC version of me would be doing at that exact moment if I were there. How my friends are probably all having easy laughs with each other and not having to share their “story” with each other… because we all already know each others’ stories. While I’m sitting through “blind friend dates” wondering whether the other person likes me and if we’ll actually hang out again. How I’d be running off to a studio with Starbucks in hand in the hectic craze of preparing for a TV segment for work and bumping into celebrities in the green room. While I’m sitting at home working at a tiny uncomfortable desk in sweatpants and unwashed hair with no human being in the vicinity to have a conversation with. How I’d be going to Long Island with Tyler in tow to bask in the sun and go swimming at my parents’ house. While I’m still shivering in a coat with grey skies overhead.
I miss my friends and family. I miss the sunshine. I miss having anything you want at any time of night and having it delivered to your apartment door. I miss my NYC life. But do I regret leaving? Not one bit. In one year, I’ve built quite a life for myself here. New friends, new clients, a new home that actually feels like a home, and new adventures. Paris does me good. So in the spirit of my “one year anniversary”, here is my top 5 list of how you know these lovable Parisians are rubbing off on you:
5. You walk straight ahead and make people jump out of the way on the street. It’s not your fault if they get bumped into – they’re in your way.
4. You automatically order un apéritif when you sit down at dinner. It’s to whet the appetite, after all.
3. You go to three different boulangeries in one trip and think that’s completely normal. One for your favorite baguette, one for your favorite croissant, and one for some other favorite baked good.
2. You’re willing to wait on line for 20 minutes for a block of cheese… and don’t think you’re wasting time.
1. You catch yourself making incoherent noises that pass off for words in France. i.e. “uh nah nah nah nah nah”, “plffff” and “upppp”. Fellow expats, you know what I’m talking about.