Just life.

Just life.

With one month left to go on my fellowship, I feel like I just got to the good part of life in Paris! In a previous post, I wrote about a lot of the struggles I faced in the first 4 months after moving to Paris. That was right after I felt like life here was finally becoming just life, and not a protracted vacation during which I also worked 8 hours per day. I can’t say that there was any one particular event that triggered this change in my frame of mind, but from early June, life overall felt easier. I began to feel more as the ease with chatting in French; in lab, I finally had a grasp on the few specific experiments I need to do before leaving; and I started going back to local spots I like without worrying that those visits are at the expense of trying someplace new. And honestly, I’ve been enjoying Paris a lot more now that I’ve taken pressure off myself to cram everything into the next month (meaning things in the city and in the lab). I know I’ll come back to Paris and that I will always have more things I want to do here, and there will always be more scientific questions I’ll be curious to answer. But there is a time for everything, and my task this next month is balancing the science with the Paris and reaching an acceptable conclusion on each front without neglecting one for the other (unfortunately easy to do in research). Everything about this city has really captivated me and in spite of the struggles I’ve had while here, I’m rather fond of this experience. Paris has always been one of my favorite cities, and getting to learn it in depth, become a local at some places (all of which are bakeries!), and explore it at a slower pace has made me fall in love with it even more. No longer do I feel like an impostor or like I’m bragging when I say that I live in Paris. It just is – it’s just life.

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