What Living in Paris Has Taught Me So Far
Hello my lovelies and happy Friday to you all!
Today marks the start of the 7th month since I left Ireland to change my life and move to Paris. As I’m writing this post I’m wondering where on Earth does time go?
So much of my life has changed in what feels like such a short amount of time so today on LaDameWhoFellToEarth I wanted to look back on my time here in France since the beginning and share with you guys some of the life lessons I’ve learned here in one of the most beautiful and inspiring cities in the world.
1.) It’s Okay To Be Alone
In fact being alone in this city is extremely pleasant. Parisians cherish a particular type of “public privacy,” be it breathing in the life of the city alone on a park bench in the Jardin des Tuileries, people watching as you sip your coffee, nestled in the cosy corner of the terrace in your favourite cafe, or getting lost in the infinite array of museums and luxury department stores spread all across the city.
Taking a break from your busy schedule to spend time with yourself is just so important. Not only will it help you unwind and get to know yourself better, spending time alone is an amazing way of getting to know your surroundings too. Especially in a place like Paris where you’re never really done exploring.
2.) Food (And Particularly Bread) Is Not The Enemy
With the amount of choice Paris gives us between its world-renowned patisseries, pain au chocolat, croissants, macarons and the infinite array of viennoiseries every bakery has to offer, you’d be inclined to think that we’d all be hitting the gym and obsessing over our waist-lines after inhaling a plate full of carbs and cakes. But an actual fact is that the opposite is true. Eating in Paris is all about moderation, savouring your food and appreciating every bite down to the last.
So much emphasis is put on the importance of food here and yet, nobody counts calories. When I was living in Ireland I had such a negative outlook on what I ate and if I wasn’t sticking to a strict regime I would always be beating myself up about it for days afterwards. Just under a year ago, my approach to food was never without apprehension and unease. But the truth is that the more you deprive yourself, the more likely you are to rebel against the rules you set yourself and in turn, gain weight. What I’ve learned after living in Paris and having added a serious surplus of crêpes to my calorie count is that when it comes to diet, enjoying your food as well as balance are key.
Here there are so many markets selling fresh produce like farmed fruits and vegetables as well as such cute little shops on every street corner selling a world of gateaux, pastries and cheeses to sample, most of which I’m only just beginning to learn about. And that’s not to mention all of the famous bakeries and salons-des-thés *cough cough Pierre-Hermé*cough cough* Ladurée* that there are to discover here.
Between the fresh, healthy produce and sweet treats Paris has to offer, there’s just so many new and exciting things to try and when you balance your diet between eating healthy and treating yourself, you never need to worry about gaining weight.
3.) Love Your Skin
“Enjoy the face you have today. It’s the one you’ll wish you have ten years from now.” ~Caroline de Maigret
All over the world we always hear tell of the proverbial beauty of Parisian women. Having now lived among them, collecting their secrets for just over six months, I can honestly say that all beauty in Paris boils down to the knowledge that everything in life is flawed. Paris as a city isn’t perfect but is has, like the people who live in it, learned to embrace its flaws. Beauty in Paris is never about conforming to society’s idealized views on perfection. It is exactly our imperfections that make us shine and as insecure as we may be about them, there will always be people who see those very things about us as what makes us beautiful. Even if we can’t see it for ourselves.
4.) If You Really Want Something You Have To Go After It
Living alone in a city as big and as bulging with opportunities as Paris means that you’ll be fighting most of your battles solo. It’s not enough to be the shy girl in the corner who’s too afraid to go out there and make a life for herself. No matter how you may be feeling, taking every possible action to live the best life you can is just so important.
If you never ask for what you want, you’ll never receive it. If you don’t speak the language, make the effort to learn by talking to people. If you don’t like your job, do yourself an act of self-love by changing it. Nobody else can ever do these things for you so you need to have the courage to grab life by the horns and see every favourable moment life throws at you as a rung on the ladder to get closer to what you want.
5.) There Is No Such Thing As Normal
Moving from Ireland to France and immersing myself in a culture wholly different from my own made me realize that whatever we perceive in our everyday lives to be normal is literally only what is seen as being culturally or socially accepted. When we stay in one place for too long, we really enter the bubble of that place and the expectations that come along with it. Uprooting my life and leaving home made me understand that there literally is no point in caring if what I’m doing seems in any way strange or out of the ordinary to other people.
No matter where you are in the world it is just so important to do what makes you happy. Even if it may seem a little different to what people are used to. If it’s not normal where you live then it’s probably normal somewhere else. And if what you love is normal nowhere then you can have all the more fun embracing the unique advantage you have to share something new with the world.
6.) Inspiration Is Everywhere
Paris is a city that has so much to teach and so many experiences to offer. Whether you may be wandering through one of its decadent art galleries or taking in the beautiful architecture of the museums and monuments scattered all along the river, the city will never fail to make you feel like you’re a character in an old movie. Going outside in Paris, no matter where you are in the city is nourishment for the soul and it’s a place that will always make you feel happy to be alive.
And that’s it for this post on my life lessons learned in Paris! Who knows, maybe if you guys like the post and I manage to learn more while I’m here I’ll continue the series. Let me know what you think in the comments below.
That’s all from me for now and I’ll see you very soon in my next post.