Diaries Magazine

Four Years.

Posted on the 16 September 2013 by Ellacoquine @ellacoquine
four years.

Last night on our drive back home from the suburbs, off in the distance on an open field, pink, red and silver fireworks were exploding furiously into the night. Trying to guess what the celebration was about, we fell flat on ideas. Mid-September doesn't exactly ring any bells. Perhaps a farewell to summer? That's hardly something to celebrate about, even if I do love autumn. Turning to Aurel, I asked him what the date was and when he told me that it was the 15th of September, it was then that I knew exactly what the hullabaloo was about. September 15th marks my four year anniversary in Paris and obviously there was a firework extravaganza to commemorate it! Oh France, you shouldn't have.
four years.
While I want to say that I can't believe it has already been four years and time really does have its way of slipping through your fingers, these four years were so dense with experience, at times stuck in a quagmire of difficult decisions, surprises, and inconveniences, that I don't feel that they just flew by. A lot of shit has happened and as odd as it may sound, I'm kind of thankful for all of it. I could never appreciate all the good things that have come my way in these past four years if I don't recognize some of the challenges that have been set before me. Not too long ago, I was accused of changing since I had moved to France and that I am not the same person I was ten years ago. Not sure how to even feel, I marinated on this "accusation" for a bit. Resisting the urge to immediately rectify the situation with an apology, I stopped and asked myself, what would I exactly be apologizing for? After everything I had been through (things that could have happened anywhere in the world, so let's not totally blame Paris here), of course I have changed! There should be no shame in that. I certainly hope I have evolved from my 22-year-old self because damn, I was pretty stupid. Oh please, what am I talking about? I've done some dumb things here as well! The sublet robbery of 2011 would so not have happened had I been a little more sharp and less trusting of a 20-year-old who thought a tilted-head-duck-lip photo of herself was appropriate representation for her CV. I still take 50% blame in that mess.
On these Francoversaries, I like to look back on all of the adventures of this life abroad. I honestly didn't think I would make it this far as I sort of just picked up and came here without much security. Indulging in flashbacks, I remember my first week here, settling into my sublet at La Motte-Picquet, questioning my plan and why I was even here, and feeling both excitement and fear for not having any answers...or that much money, to my first full year of feeling proud that I had made it while still scraping by and wondering if there would be a two year anniversary, to now, finally feeling settled in a simple life in Paris. I really have grown so much over the past four years and that doesn't make me better or even smarter, just aware and secure with the knowledge that without love in a dream it'll never come true.
Breaking my weekly wine fast, I will treat myself to a glass of bubbly after work. Cheers and Happy Anniversary! Here is to another year in Paris to me and to all of the other hopefuls who arrived once upon a time in September.... Here's a peek at last year's Francoversary. 

It was a little more colorful than this years...

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