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The scars of being ousted in a beautiful city still remain. I was so drawn to Paris, wishing that it would accept me, that I would make friends and flourish there. I felt so drawn to the city because two people had met there and conceived me. I fell in love for the first time there, but that died too.

 

My free time (and there was a lot of it) was spent living in a dirty dark apartment pungent with my flat-mate’s sweaty shoes, walking the city alone at night with an ipod, crying with a pen in my hand writing mediocre verse and spending too much money on sushi. I felt lonely, and when mugged, paranoid, but I assumed that this was the life of a hapless English speaker in Paris. It made me feel less alone and punish myself less for not being happier with my life.

 

Then I saw blogs bursting with photos of beautiful English speakers younger than me wearing wild, unique fashion not only finding French friends in Paris but getting on guest lists to the most exciting parties, being artistic and creative by having photo shoots left, right and centre; being picked to be in magazines and on TV shows about Paris’ nightclub culture, which, no matter how hard I researched it, could never find. As I flicked from photo to photo, I recognized the life I desperately wanted to lead, a life of high energy, cutting edge music, creative ventures and dynamic friends. I wanted to be beautiful, dress beautifully and be accepted among crowds of strong, intelligent and creative youngsters. Instead I had a flat-mate who barely left his computer, sulky lethargic acquaintances at school and one or two friends who I treasured because they were actually French, but whom I had little to nothing in common with.

 

My Paris could be summarized thus: the local overpriced mini-mart, the only one open on Sundays, where I regularly bought one carton of my favourite yoghurt drink. It was a grey and quiet place where I ate an entire baguette without butter or meat or anything sitting on a bench watching the cars speed down the boulevard. I never saw anyone having fun. I never saw much at all apart from people rushing from one place to the next.

 

Then one day I befriended a waiter who must have been only a year or two older than me and for forty-eight subsequent hours I was plunged into a world of all-night apartment parties, smart talk, cocaine, drama, scooters and excellent food. And through those forty-eight hours I was silent and uneasy, the dumb date, the dullard. The one who didn’t talk or take drugs. My French was piecemeal and my stammered contributions left the room deeply unimpressed. It wasn’t long before I was shunted out of the circle and back into my empty grey life.

 

I tried to animate the long, sad hours by writing. But no matter how much I wrote, the words just didn’t give me a sense of having achieved anything. It just sounded like a loser who had no friends was trying to write about a loser who had no friends.

 

Typical.

 

Now, two years later, I'm living in a new city. Everything is grey still. I'm considering running away, or suicide.

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Uuuhh...Ok... so where were you before you went to Paris? Were you happy with your life before you left for Paris? My experience has been to expect less so that I am not disappointed. So if you were not happy with things before Paris, setting your expectations so high for the unknown was a set-up. With that in mind realize that you are still in Paris and it is not the unknown anymore. You have time to readjust your expectations so that they are more realistic. You've learned what the nightlife entails and that was not for you. So find events and activities that make you happy, writing groups etc. with like minded people.

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This is a really well written post. I really like your writing style.

 

I can (somewhat) relate. My story is a bit of a stretch from yours. But I did go through something simalar once. Not in Paris, in the states.

 

Maybe your expectations were too high. Not many people get to live the life you wanted to live. People who do are either born into it or they get really, really lucky. So don't be too hard on yourself.

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This post made me sad. One of my favorite quotes has always been, "If you haven't found what you're looking for where you are, then you are not likely to find it where you're going."

 

I think that a change of scenery can really benefit a person sometimes, and it can jumpstart you a little bit in some circumstances, and help to transform you life. However, the main ingredient in this formula is you. You are still you no matter where you go, no matter where you live. You cannot escape yourself.

 

They say that comparison is the root of all misery, and in Paris you seemingly had even more to live up to. In that sense, it's not surprising that you might then be miserable.

 

Just like when it comes to romantic love, you have to offer the love that you'd like to see from others. It's one of those JFK axioms as in "ask not what your country can do for you..." blah, blah. How can you serve your City, whatever your City might be? Whether it's your job, volunteering, going to engagements, seeing new bands... it doesn't matter. You can do all these things on your own, and when you develop habits, then over time you develop love... just like in a romantic relationship.

 

In any case, I'm sorry that Paris didn't turn out to be your thing.

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You write beautifully. If you can find an outlet for that, I think you'll be on a completely different path in life.

 

I've always found Paris to be a dirty, over rated hole, but then I'm English so no surprise there then!

 

Keep posting. You're never alone here.

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Paris for First-Time Visitors | Sco...
Paris for First-Time Visitors | Scott and Yanling

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