Smooth Seas Don’t Make Good Sailors
It’s been a little over a year now since I left my old life in Dublin in search of a new one in Paris. Being able to survive far away from home for such a long period of time and at such a young age is definitely something I feel very proud of doing.
Living abroad has taught me so many new things and has enabled me to overcome so many challenges that I never would have even been capable of imagining when I left Ireland as a naive twenty year-old. Today’s outfit is inspired by being able to adjust your sails to the waves life throws at you as well as the ways that living in Paris has changed my perspective on the world.
Before we get into the more philosophic part of the post below, I thought I’d start off as usual by sharing my outfit of the day. Lately I’ve been loving to rock a more boyish look which is perfect for Paris as style here can often feel a lot more dressed down than the fashion you see in other cities like London and Dublin. I almost completely abandoned my high-heels and long dresses after moving here and I really started to opt for casual fashion that favours comfort and effortlessness over anything else.
As a general rule, you really can’t go wrong with an oversized shirt layered with some super ripped jeans (topshop). This outfit follows a fairly basic formula where simplicity and comfort are key which is exactly why I completed it with a pair of vans old skools (pictured above) for a look that boasts a vibe that is both street-smart and chic.
When I saw this oversized raglan shirt from High Dive Apparel I fell in love with it for two reasons. The first being that it’s unisex so walking around in it feels amazing, as if I’m rocking my boyfriend’s baggy clothes which let’s face it, it’s every girl’s dream to sport that look and make it stylish. The next coup de cœur for me was the graphic on the back which reads; “smooth seas don’t make good sailors.”
I really love this message and something about it really spoke to me, making me think of how far I’ve come in the past year and how every difficulty I’ve faced since leaving home has made me stronger in the end. Today’s blogpost is inspired by this awesome slogan as well as the challenges I’ve faced since moving to Paris. It’s been a wild ride but without the experiences I’ve had here, good and bad, I definitely would not still be capable of surviving in France.
You Need To Face Hardships in Order To Become Stronger
It may sound really cliché but I now know from experience now that if everything in life came to you easily then you wouldn’t be very good at it, nor would you be a very likeable character. Facing small challenges and learning how to cope with them prepares you for the greater ones and the more you overcome, the less is capable of sinking your ship.
Before I left home I was working for a long time and after moving to France there were so many new things that became what seemed like the most impossible obstacles for me. For starters the language barrier was a huge problem in the beginning. There were a lot of people who were actual xenophobes I was once told to go back to my own country along with the rest of the Brexiters even though I’m Irish and just as European as a French person. I also had to find an apartment, deal with bills and a horrific amount of French bureaucracy to live here. The list goes on. Paris is really the kind of city where you have to be tough and emotionally resilient in order to survive. After living here and having dealing with a mountain of problems I would have never had to face at home, I literally feel like I could live anywhere.
Trusting Yourself and Having Street Savoir-Faire
If you’re a woman in this city or you take the metro a lot then you’ll definitely get my drift when I say that Paris isn’t always the safest place. Although it is by far one of the most beautiful places in the world, just like any other big European city, there are always some pretty shady people lurking about and trying to take advantage of those who may be a little too innocent for their surroundings or even too shy say no. One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned from living in Paris is being able to trust in my gut and knowing not to spend time with people who are only out there to waste it. There is a stereotype that Parisians are standoffish and rude but often it’s only natural to be a little cold in a city where there are a lot of people pretending to be what they’re not.
The Creative Mentality of The City
Paris is a city known for it’s art. Between the Louvre, Musée d’Orsay and the Café de Flore, the city is absolutely brimming with the heritage of some of the world’s greatest writers and artists and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Everywhere you turn there is always something or someone who can ignite the creative fire in your soul whether it be the quirky graffiti on the street corners or the conversations shared with people who study to become painters, graphic designers, photographers etc.
The creative mentality of Paris has really rubbed off on me and the more new people I meet and places I discover, the more motivated I feel to hone my craft because I see people all the time honing theirs and improving their skills. Paris is a city that favours artistic minds and living in a place where people are so imaginative makes me realise that creating is more about the art made and less about the money made.
Life The French Way
After a whole year immersed in the french daily life I’ve learned that when it comes to speaking another language, your attitude is just as important as the words you use. What makes french such an alluring and powerful language is definitely the way it carries itself across its people and across its culture. I’ve been at parties where people are into a mega heated debate and arguing as if they’re going to rip each other’s heads off, and then five minutes later everybody is laughing and giving each other la bise. There is something so fiery about the French language and the people who speak it.
Learning a second language is one of the most empowering things you can do, not only because it broadens your horizons tenfold in terms of opportunities you can have and friends you can make, but also because it’s just so amusing to watch how another language shapes your personality. When I speak french I am definitely more direct than I would be in english or in Irish because that’s just how Paris taught me to speak it. Wrapping my head around an entirely new way to communicate as well as completely foreign sets of prononciation that my mind physically couldn’t process in the past was of course the hardest part about trying to start a life here but I am so grateful that instead of feeling defeated by the language barrier here I added said language to my brain and life rewarded me with so many amazing experiences for putting in that work.
And that’s it for this post and the lessons I’ve learned in France. I really threw myself into the deep end by uprooting my life and moving here but honestly this city has changed me for the better and has rendered me so much stronger, mentally and emotionally than I ever could have imagined when I think back to my life over a year ago.
Be sure to check out High Dive Apparel if you guys liked the outfit and if supporting independent labels is your thing. Honestly this raglan is one of the softest things I own and is definitely one of my current favourites for autumn. You can find it on their website here.
Thank you guys so much for reading and I’ll see you very soon in our next post.