Seeing as I’m rather inspired today, I decided to put pen to paper. Ever since I got my first full-time job, I’ve found it difficult to find the time (nor the money!). It’s starting to make sense now, all those comments that my friends made but that I couldn’t relate to at the time.
“Everyday, I finish work at 8pm, go to the gym and am back at 10pm but I still haven’t had dinner.”
“I literally have zero left in my bank account after paying the bills.”
“I miss my student life! You’re so lucky!”
Well, not anymore! This girl is working a 39 hour week and as a sales associate, you are constantly on your feet dealing with the whims and emotions of female customers who often have an unwilling, uncooperative husband or boyfriend in tow but that’s a story for another time.
Moving to France has been an eye-opening experience in so many ways that words cannot describe. One of them, I’ve mentioned above. I’ve always appreciated the significance of money and I paid my way through university, like so many others. Luckily, my graduation came with a diploma sans debt so I’ve been very blessed in that respect. However, I had never had to fully support myself financially as in I had never paid a day’s rent in my life nor had I ever had to work a full-time job. That’s all changed now!
For a girl who’s just moved to Paris less than three months, I would say I’m faring quite well in this bustling city of cigarette smoke, coffee and croissants. My pay allows me to live comfortably enough and to even save some each month. Unfortunately, I have no holidays as I’m working in retail so one day off on the 25th for Christmas, another day off on the 1st for New Year’s and it’s back to the daily grind.
Otherwise, Paris is just breathtaking and it breaks my heart to hear some of my French friends ask me, “Why would you come back?” Little background story: I did my exchange three years ago in Lille, a student town on the northern border of France. Clearly, they’ve become used to the beauty of this historical city and taking things for granted is a straight path to sadness as happiness is the ability to appreciate the little things in life, is it not? Of course, there are things about France, about Paris, the culture and the mentality that irk me but such is life. Downsides are there in every nook and cranny. I have never seen a city without problems, a relationship without issues or a job that couldn’t be better. What changes everything is perspective and how we react to situations.
All in all, despite my deeply frustrating struggles in the beginning (also a story for another time), my efforts have paid off and I am finally enjoying my Parisian life, starting with a couple awesome bars, restaurants and exhibitions! I cannot wait to discover the rest of the city and have even been able to do so by taking up a modelling job for a Taiwanese online clothing company. We shoot in beautiful locations that are more often than not, deserted on quiet Sunday afternoons. My days are filled with the babble of French and each day, I discover a fun, new word or phrase! I’ve even started tackling a 459 page novel in the language…though that might take a year!
What really takes my breath away, though, is seeing the Eiffel Tower coming out of metro Concorde every morning on my way to work. In my own little way, I’ve made it and it only gets better!