A New Normal

There are days that I think “Moving to new country where I don’t speak the language, have no job and have to create a new business network from referrals and cold-emailing, having few friends….I wouldn’t wish this upon my worst enemy.”  In other words, it’s really hard.  It’s the little things that can wear on me: not being able to explain myself to the shop-keep in my broken French or trying to figure which French stamps I need to mail a letter to the U.S.  Then, on other days, I have small victories with finding a great biking route to and from school or getting our files organized and adapted to the French “binder system.”

IMG_0262The thing that I was most surprised with and disappointed by was how many of my friends in the States would fall away.  Only a handful make an effort to keep in touch via email and there are fewer that I can reach via phone and with that, only one has figured out how to call me.  Even with the phone friends, it requires scheduling in advance so all the spontaneity of chatting is gone (except for a few of my early riser friends I can call before 8am).  I am not alone in this happening.  Many of the other expats I’ve talked to said the same happened for them.  I believe the 9 hour time difference is a big hinderance and  I don’t necessarily want to talk at 9:00pm and those in the States can’t talk at a more convenient time for me at 8:00am or 9:00am Pacific.   There also is also the adage “out of sight, out of mind.” So, here is am in Paris, making new friends and a new life and trying to adjust to the new normal with my old friends.  C’est la vie!  In the meantime, here are some images of my days in Paris as I explore my new life.

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5 Responses to A New Normal

  1. Frank Kane says:

    I know what you mean Alexis – it took about a week after I left Seattle for most of my friends to lose contact, and I miss them too. I think things like this blog and Facebook remove the need for active contact in a lot of peoples’ minds – everyone who reads this feels like they’re still in touch with you, but it’s easy to forget it’s a one-way street.

  2. deborah kemp says:

    It could be an issue with your time of life. Even if you were living in the States, many of your friends would be absorbed juggling their work schedule with their childrens’ activities. I moved to Paris later in life and did not have the same problem with communicating with friends in the States because my friends were at the age to have more time. However, I found lots of new friends through the American Library’s lecture series and the author events at the Red Wheelbarrow bookstore in Paris. Search the IHT website for an excellent article on the bookstore. Best of luck – love your blog. Friend of Aunt Prudence – Deborah

  3. I found the same thing when I moved overseas. More interestingly when I moved back, I’ve run into one of these people in the street, and they’ve said “Oh we must have coffee sometime.” My immediate feeling was, you haven’t even contacted me or responded to anything I’ve sent you over the last five years, why do you think a coffee chat will make up for that chunk of each other’s lives that we’ve missed? I haven’t followed up on the coffee, and I doubt that I ever will.

  4. Sarah says:

    Yes! I love that you’re blogging again – you know I’ve been waiting! Looking forward to chatting soon….hope you’ve been baking away my friend. Thanks for sending the pics! Love, Sar

  5. Anne Bradfield says:

    Ack! A knife through the heart! I definitely fall into the category of hard-to-contact, but please know you are often on my mind, and I’m always so happy when I see new blog posts. They give me such a satisfying dose of Alexis. Thinking of you if not often talking to you,
    Anne

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