Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Reality Check

This is an edited version of a post that originally appeared on my personal blog:

This post is not a reality check for me, instead it's for all the people who have an incredibly warped idea of my life in Paris. I'm starting to get really sick of people commenting on me living the "nice" life or "luxurious" life in Paris, and even the people who say, "must be nice to up and move to Paris."

For starters, my life is in no way "luxurious" and even "nice" is a bit of a stretch. It's comfortable, sure, just as it is in NYC. At least, as comfortable as it can be for a person who spent the first half worried about a place to stay and will spend the second half worried about money. Yes, I indulged in some things I've always wanted to do, like a bread-making class, but I often eat nothing but a demi baguette and pre-packaged pasta from Monoprix all day because it only costs me 3 euros. I'm not dining at fancy restaurants. I avoid museums and attractions I have to pay for. I skip more meals than I'm comfortable admitting to my best friends. Trust me, life is not luxurious.

Now, as to the question of how I got to Paris in the first place. I freelanced a lot last year, which allowed me to save a good chunk of money. Almost half of that money was supposed to go to paying taxes, which I will now have to file an extension for and pay interest on because that money is long gone. I had no choice but to do that because I'm jobless and not eligible for unemployment.

Don't get me wrong, this isn't a pity parade. I've chosen this. It was my decision to quit my job, a job that was turning me into somebody I didn't recognize. I decided I would rather be broke in Paris and know that I gave it a try than be miserable in NYC, wondering "what if?" And of course there's the fact that I'm single and childless, so I don't have to consider anybody else when I make decisions like this.

I'm just tired of the looks and comments and general misunderstanding of what my life is like here. Every time somebody says something like, "can I have your life?" I want to answer "of course you can! Save up some money, quit your job, book a ticket." It's as easy as that. I didn't have a place lined up before getting here. My only "friend" was a person I had met exactly three times. I had no plan whatsoever and spent the first two months incapable of thinking past the end of the next week (a habit which will continue, I'm sure). I've made it this far by luck and not caring.

And since I'm being completely open at this point, I'll admit that I have no idea what's next, so there's also that. I've blown through my savings and am totally winging it. I have just enough money to pay rent and credit card bills through the end of my trip and that is it. I now have to think of creative ways to eat and live for the next two months. I also have to figure out how to pay rent and credit card bills once I'm back in New York because I don't have money for that either. Hell, I don't even have money to get back to New York but I'm lucky enough to have a friend who can lend me some until I figure it out. (Now, that's a luxury.)

That's your reality check for the day, folks. Basically save some money and have faith that it'll all work out beyond that. There's your key to living my life. If you choose to follow in my footsteps, let me know and HAVE FUN!

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