I’ve been in my apartment here in Paris for a month now. I’ve moved from “oh god this apartment sucks” when I first arrived to “okay this is passable for now” and finally to “I think I like this place.”
I went out today and bought a new sofa. The previous tenant actually was (somewhat) kind enough to leave his old sofa (I knew he was leaving it). That sofa is just terrible, but at least I have a place to sit.
Several people just told me to go to Ikea or a large department store to find a sofa, but I decided to get one from a tiny furniture shop around the corner. I found one that I liked and just walked in and ordered it. I picked up a few other things too.
It’s starting to feel like my place. And that feels good.
It’s funny though. My STBXW (soon-to-be-ex-wife) years ago said that she felt like she was never able to make it on her own—that she moved right from her parents house into our apartment. Which really isn’t completely true, but she felt like it was a major problem in that she never “made it on her own.”
I’m realizing that I haven’t ever done this either. Not that I ever complained about it. I enjoyed doing this kind of stuff with someone else.
But to go to a store, find some whatever-it-is, and decide that I want it, it is somewhat odd but liberating.
I’m breaking free and making this place just for me. I can easily see myself in this apartment for a while. I want to make it my home.
• • •
On Monday morning, I have an appointment at the OFII (Office Français de l’Immigration et de l’Intégration) to start the process of my residence card. Once I get it, I’ll be set for three full years. And it’s renewable for another three after that.
I know I’ve only been here a month, but there is nowhere else on earth like Paris.
Every day I am struck by the magic and beauty of this place.
Six years may not be enough.