7 Things I’d Tell My Parisian-Expat Self Now That I’ve Spent 9 Years In Paris...

7 Things I’d Tell My Parisian-Expat Self Now That I’ve Spent 9 Years In Paris...

... and I’ll Probably Forget by the Time I’ll have spent 10.

1. Boy, some of the things you’re scared of trying aren’t scary because you shouldn’t be doing them, actually they’re scary because you love them so much and don’t want to fail. But if you don’t even try you’ve already failed!

2. Going backward never works. If you were to go back to Africa, it won’t be the same. If you go back to Uganda, it won’t be the same. If you go back to wherever you feel like you should or want, it won’t be the same. You’re just trying to recreate the past and that’s impossible. Something will always be different and you will definitely be different, too.

3. Your best mentors will find you, not the other way around. Put yourself out there, expose yourself and be the best you can be. There's going to be a day someone will want to help you, believe me. That person will be your mentor and will help you more than you could’ve imagined because...

4. Serendipity is real. Learn to say yes to things. Always finish things. Try some new things. Even if there’s no obvious reason or benefit. You’ll, surely, be surprised at what crazy things will come out of them.

5. There’ll be a lot of waiting around in this life. Waiting for a chance, waiting to hear back, waiting for the next big thing. But if you ever find yourself just waiting for something to happen, I’d strongly advise you to find something to do instead. "Nothing happens, until something moves", once said, Albert Einstein. Never, ever just wait around. Talk to people. Read a book. Write. Try something creative. There’s always something you should be doing….

6. like talking to your parents. Like, well, really talk to them. Ask them about their childhood. Make them tell you all their best stories. There is so much you don’t know about them and please remember that trying to impress them is a complete waste of time. They’re already proud of you. They just want you to be happy.

7. Refrain yourself from judging anyone without knowing the context and their circumstances, and even then, maybe don’t judge them.


There’s always something you can learn from every single person who crosses your path. Start striking up a conversation with that stranger sitting alone staring into space next to you in the Metro. Sure, the thing you learn could be, “I don’t want to talk to this person,” but even then, they might make a great character in a story. Also, with talking comes the art of listening. Learn how to listen. Just listen. Not fix anything. Not judge. I know, listening without judgment is so much harder than trying to come up with a solution for everything but way more useful.

Last modified onTuesday, 03 March 2020 10:46
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