Wednesday, 16 December 2009

In the Bleak Midwinter

After two or three crazy weeks of work, travelling and visitors, my life has finally slowed down. The temperatures have dropped below zero, the RER is on strike, and I have very little reason or desire to leave the house. I think I might be going into hibernation and, after three months of settling into a job that I didn't exactly choose and rebuilding my life in a place that I never planned to live in, that's probably a good thing. Most of what I have been doing has been focused around my little suburban town and friends from work, and it's good to take the time to notice some of the things I really like about living here. My job, like any other, has its drawbacks, but most of the time I really enjoy it and it's certainly less stressful than in many other jobs I've done. I've made some really good friends in a short space of time, and been able to spend more time with old friends that I hadn't seen for a while. I live in lovely flat in a beautiful place and I get to speak French every day. I'm also looking forward to the new year and the spring time and all the things that I'm hoping that 2010 will bring.

Because, of course, there's also my wish list. I'm really hoping that my plans for skiing in February will work out. In the summer, I'm dreaming about going on a grand tour of Italy to visit all the parts that I never got to see last year and, of course, blog about it. I want to see the parts of France that I've never been to and leave the Ile de France a bit more often than I have in the past three months.

More than anything, though, I would like to find my place here and find my people. I live in a middle class suburb where twenty and thirtysomething childless people are few and far between. Paris is the obvious escape, but I have always had mixed feelings about Paris. It's a beautiful city, but it's also a big city, full of crowds and busy-ness and anonymity. It's easy to meet people in Paris but it's difficult to make friends, especially if you don't actually live there and belong in a particular neighbourhood. At heart, I think I'm a small-city girl. I like people and shops and cinemas and culture, but I also like to have mountains on the horizon and the great outdoors on my doorstep. I like meeting people who are educated but also down to earth. I like to make friends, not acquaintances. So Santa Claus, if you exist and if you surf the internet, what I would really like for Christmas would be to feel at home here. Thank you.

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