So I’ve made the move to Philly, West Philly, more specifically. I’m amazed at how I am starting to feel settled in even after just 2 nights of sleeping here, with bags still packed as I get some furniture together for my new room. Looks like it will be a good time and my roommate situation is good.
I can’t believe how familiar it feels even though I just spent a brief 6 weeks here this summer, how the public transportation now seems intuitive. My native land just feels so much more native after Paris, and I don’t have to think twice before approaching anyone or wonder if they are judging my accent. I don’t have to worry about not finding the right word or running out of words, and it’s pretty refreshing to go out of the house in sweatpants like it’s no big.
The ease of adaptation, the familiarity with public transportation, and just having a sense of confidence in my surroundings (though mine are a bit sketchy), and already starting to meet new people, is surprising to find in myself. It makes me feel very promiscuous,in having not one special bakery or bartender or coffee shop, just many small loves and great flexibility. I don’t feel disconnected from a community here- I’m lucky to be in grad school while making these moves and having a crew to travel with.
Before when I went to a new city, I was hoping to find a home, and thought there might be something distinct about it. Sure there are many little details, but overall Philly doesn’t seem that different from another regional city in France, except that it’s American. I guess this is the transition from a provincial to a cosmpolitan attitude, or rather, lifestyle. I have lived mostly in cities for the past few years, despite being raised in the suburbs. The only time I’ve lived in the countryside was in France. I don’t really think of myself as a city dweller, but that’s how its been recently.
In a way, I don’t think it would be that different living in any city, and I do believe that I could now take on New York City. Paris is still the loveliest though. I wonder if I’ve just left my heart there. I’m surprised I’m not missing and pining for my experience there, but there were positives and negatives. And my community there will be dispersed after grad school, and who knows what will happen with Y, the guy i dated there. Paris is a place where I am welcome and will know some people, but no one is waiting for me there. Right now, it feels so far away. I just got notice of a job posting there that might be appropriate. I’m going to give it a shot. it seems like it really is possible, to work in Paris after graduation. I almost can’t believe it. And with this possibility so close, I appreciate Philly more for what it is, knowing it’s not forever and not knowing when I’ll be back. I appreciate it because it is so different from Paris, and that I’ll have given living in America as a young adult a shot before potentially packing my bags to leave indefinitely.If I had a day off like today in Paris, I’d be going to a great art museum or maybe just bumming. It would be different.
Sometimes I think of DC as the ultimate compromise city. It would be close to my family, enable me to utilize my mother tongue in a fairly international city that is something like the capital city of the planet, I am familiar with it and have peeps there, and theoretically I could always go to Europe later with a little more experience under my belt. Plus, there’s American dudes who theoretically share my values and background which could be helpful for a lasting relationship. But maybe aren’t necessary.
Still hoping for my American guy with a sense of wonder of the world to travel with, but until he comes, and even when he comes, I’ve got to be true to myself.
So aiming for Paris, until Heaven sends me elsewhere. But in the meantime, I’ll be a part of a new neighborhood. I could “pass through” for six months because it won’t be forever, or I can be a good neighbor. I will dare to love like it’s forever, because we are just “passing through” this life, and love is the only thing that lasts. God is love.
Wish me luck in the city of Brotherly Love.