Living in France as an expat has taught me how beautiful other people’s culture could be.
Having entered into my seventh year of a Parisian expatriation adventure, I have had amazing experiences, discovered new ways to get things done in the city of love (as it is fondly called).
The scenic beauty, weather, and wealthy culture are some of the elements that attract people to Paris.
However, as a Parisian expat, I have made some decisions this Year on things that I really need to stop, work on and improve.
I have decided that I’ll try to do my best to stop the following things:
1. Stop Social Media Addiction.
At the beginning of this year, I was skeptical about writing my resolutions not just as an individual in France, but as foreigner in Paris.
Well, I have been enjoying my love for social media aside using it as a tool to reach out to Parisian expats, but on second thought, I began to think of what caused me stress and unnecessary anxiety, I noticed continuous difficulty in processing tasks and decoding some work and personal information, too many apps, too many emails, too many social media feeds and notifications, living in France is not all bed of roses in entirety if you ask me.
I have decided to regulate my social media life.
I know it won’t be as easy as I once thought, but I really want to try working on it.
2. Stop Complaining About French Bureaucracy.
If you’ve ever lived in France then you will fully understand how tiresome it could be when dealing with officialdom (red tape).
Maintaining any permit means that you will have to complete plenty forms, answer numerous (at times irrelevant) questions and also receive different information from government departments, town halls, and prefectures.
After going through a carte vitale process, among other things, I have decided that I’ll need try to stop grinding about French bureaucracy.
Okay, it doesn’t sound easy of course, but accepting bureaucratic challenges as part of life as an expatriate helps you face reality. Considering the fact that the French have to go through the same process in your country (they actually do in their own country by the way).
I’m learning to give myself a treat whenever I’m overwhelmed with the French bureaucracy and stop complaining.
3. Stop Complaining About The Parisian Metro Pee-Like–Smell
Sincerely speaking, I want to write off complaining habits from my 2017 diary, especially when it comes to the tales about ‘The Parisian metro pee – like – smell.'
If you’ve ever taken the Metro in Paris, you know what I mean.
I don’t like to complain about the Parisian Metro system (which works pretty well by the way), but when I moved to Paris, at times, I would notice the change of the Parisian atmosphere as I approached metro stations.
Metro stations aren’t opened for homeless people to spend the night, but sometimes you’d find them in there early in the morning, making one suspect that they have got to excrete out of their system, hence contributing to the pee- like smell.
See what I mean?
Whether this pee smell is as a result of little dogs, lack of enough public toilets or homeless sleeping in the meter station, I have decided to stop complaining about this, and instead, start thinking about the amazing services offered by the RATP.
4. Stop Thinking That I Know Paris Well After Only Six Years.
I asked myself how well do you think you know Paris after living for just six years?
To my amazement nothing compared to the experienced expats who lived more than the years I lived in Paris.
I’m learning to drop my ego and start asking for help from people that know more than what I do. This includes understanding how and who runs Paris, how people do business, the social and cultural dynamics of the city and the country (since at times I tend to forget that France isn’t only about Paris.
I’m realizing now that saying that I know Paris well, is probably the last thing I can ever be sure of.
I’m convincing myself that I don’t know this city yet and there are just a plenty of things I need to learn.
5. Stop Ignoring The Local French Press And events.
Expat friends, news, and events are so cool. At least you have people you rant about how living in France can be, the ups and down, frustration by bureaucracy and the difficulty in doing simple tasks and the likes.
Not so bad to say but I have decided to spice up this year by getting to know more exciting things about the French press and their well-programmed events.
It wouldn’t be a bad idea if I had a connection with the French people, immerse myself in their culture, although not in entirety but with attainable and learnable part of their culture.
French press, which can be made of stainless, works better with a coffee of a coarser grind than does a drip brew coffee filter.
6. Stop Being Afraid (To Ask For Help Or Start/Try Something New).
In life we get pretty worried about things, we fear the even unknown things that do not exit. A tale was once told about an eagle that grew with chicks; it took hope and courage to make the eagle realize who he was (An eagle meant to fly).
As a Parisian expat, I realized that I had been scared to ask for help or assistance from people around, dreading the word “no” but I just understood that asking for help has nothing to do with me when I get a “no” for an answer and everything to do with the person that hasn’t agreed to help, ‘pas de problème’.
I am so happy to try out something new this year, and I want to stop being afraid to ask for help.
Well, I know I’m probably naive, but I really want to try.
7. Stop Boasting To Newbies About How Long I Have Been Here.
Pride goes before a fall…. l'orgueil précède la chute.
Living in France as an expatriate for six years makes me the trip.
Getting to tell people about life in France or rather boasting about it feels good.
But during my reflections moment at the beginning of the year, I decided to start managing my attitude.
It’s true, I have been able to scale truly the numerous mountains and challenges it takes to be an expat in France, but do you think I need to be braggadocious about it?
I sincerely don’t think so!
8. Stop Forgetting To Call My Mother And Granny.
This is a hard fact and truth to believe.
My busy schedule makes me lose hold of my family and loved ones, especially mom and granny, so I decided that I’ll try to stop forgetting to call these amazing women in my life.
I have taken my action plan by writing it down on a to do list.
I usually call using one of the following apps.
9. Stop Hanging Out With Expats Only.
I want to be part of the events happening in Paris this year, exposing myself to the amazing French culture.
While I want to get a real expat experience, I also want to make more friends with the French.
Making yourself a French friend is actually a better way to understand and appreciate their culture.
I want to be an insider and be able to take a look at the social dynamics from the local perspective.
10. Stop Judging Other Expats
“We've spent so much time judging what other people created that we've created very, very little of our own.”
― Chuck Palahniuk, Choke
This Year, I want to be able to help my fellow expats in areas where they need help rather than judging them.
I want to be like the flower that gives fragrance even to the hand that crushes it.
No judgmental attitude this year.
I am sure nostalgia comes with New Year resolutions and keeping to it won’t come without sacrificing what we feel is good to get the best of 2017 as a Parisian expat.
I just handed over the ball to you...
What is your opinion?
Are there things as a Parisian expat that you want to stop doing this year?
Please do share with us down in the comments.
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