Shedding Skin

Whenever you pick up your life and move, there’s always a readjustment period. It’s an experience that reveals things about your psyche that you never realized about yourself or that you’ve been repressing for a while. And as lonely and disorienting as it can be some days, I think it’s worth the discomfort to discover these complexities about yourself. We celebrate the exhilaration of the new, mourn the things about ourselves that we miss, feel naked for awhile, and then we adapt. There are layers and layers that you have to shed in order to build up calluses in different places.

If you are one of the *incredibly lucky* people who knew me in elementary school, then you have the most accurate visual of what the French Camille is like, minus the braids and bangs. I have to work a little bit harder over here to not revert to the shyness of those early years. It’s just so easy to not risk an unpleasant encounter with an overly tired Parisian whose late for work than to stick your neck out there and join in the conversation. I noticed this tendency of mine last spring when I was really getting acclimated to the city. By summer, when I was officially living in the city on my own, I had found my rhythm in this sprawling metropolis, with an ever-growing knowledge of my favorite spots and an ability to sleep with the window cracked to enjoy a breeze without being bothered by the street noise.

My shining moment of adjustment was during the heatwave, when I was so hot and grouchy that I told a heckler in the metro that I was exhausted and I didn’t have the energy or patience to listen to his s***. Please. He looked a little surprised but went on his way.

As I make the transition from globetrotter to having a steady job, Me and my Moleskine will also be going through some changes. Whenever people have asked what my blog is about, I’ve never really known what to tell them because depending on who I’m speaking with, saying it’s about living with grief or death or my mom would lead to a deeper conversation that doesn’t seem appropriate or necessary in the social context. So I normally resort to saying it’s about life, which, I’d like to think, doesn’t quite do it justice. Ultimately, I write about whatever I want to share and that will remain the same. But when I was traveling to all these cool places and still considered myself a visitor in Paris, I hesitated to write about them here because I didn’t know how to present what I was experiencing without turning this into a cheap alternative to Lonely Planet. I want to tell stories, not document every moment of my life for you or write about the same things you can read about on a thousand other blogs about Paris. That being said, I hope to share more about navigating life in Paris with you this year in a way that doesn’t feel like a journal entry. You have my word: I will never tell you about the macaroons I ate for dessert one day.

So if you’ve enjoyed what I’ve written up until now, stick around, it’s not going away! But for those of you who may be thinking, “Thank God, she’s finally gonna stop depressing us with stories about her mom,” well, I’m throwing you a bone. Just a little one.

summer 2015 353

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