It's been over two months since I've written here in this journal, life got busy again. Since I last wrote I put on an exhibition of this blog in Paris, had my sister come to stay for two weeks in Paris, went to Marche in Italy for two weeks to spend time with my family, renewed my lease to stay another three months or so in Paris in my shared apartment, played tour guide to my Mum over two weeks in Paris, did an interview with Forbes on piecing together a life as a digital nomad, money and work-wise, and am now trying to get my feet back on the ground here and put together a normal, grounded life and routine again.
With my sister, Louise, in Paris
Food shopping and Ayurvedic dinners at home with Lou
It feels like a new era with new challenges has slowly come in for me, I'm climbing new mountains now. The initial rush and novelty of finally living in Paris after wanting this for so long hasn't worn off but I'm starting to become aware of some new challenges I have ahead of me.
Travels in Marche, Italy
I don't have a French passport, nor a European one or even a UK one. I just have my Australian one, a lucky one to have for sure, but it means my French dream has always hinged on the cold hard fact that one day I would have to try to get a visa to live here.
Right now I'm living here on a one year youth visa, these are always easy to get but the next one won't be so simple. I'll write a novel of an application, pull together all kinds of proof and references and documents and then wait nervously in Australia for around three months while they hold my passport and decide if they want me to come and live in their country for the next four years. That might be the most nerve-wracking envelope opening I've ever done.
From my bed, my nest
I'm up for the challenge, but these challenges are getting real. It's possible I've never wanted anything as much as this in my whole life, to be able to live freely in this country for a long time. It's one thing to dream of a dream but I'm realising it's a whole other thing to finally reach that moment where you ask for what you really want; the possibility that someone could say no to this request of mine terrifies me.
I try to live life on a mantra of 'I don't really care what happens', trying to not attach, trying to not need anything specific to happen, but France is different. I'm attached. I'm trying to practice detachment each day, to remember that everything I've created here came from me and travels with me wherever I go. If life has other plans for me that aren't Paris or France then I have to trust where it's taking me. I say this but it's a daily practice of letting go again and again of this attachment I've formed.
Paris everyday magic
In my work, with my freelance branding/social media and this blog, I feel changes coming in and have for a while. I'm asking myself how I can embody and express all that I feel, how my work can really be an expression of what I'm interested in and excited by and what I want to share. How I can allow myself to do more of what I really want to do? How can I stop resting on what I already know how to do?
At work, at Bliss Studio, Peter on the left, Ula on the right
I'm trying to stop attaching to what I've long held as ideas of what this blog or my branding work should be, and ask myself what would really light me up and excite me to do. I think following that inspiration and light is the only way to operate and can only bring good things, for me, and for others too I hope. But this process of gradually taking the pedal off the old ways I'm used to, the old ways that pay me and feed me, and putting my energy into new ways of working, writing, expressing, it's slow and frustrating at times because I can't force it. I'm feeling my way around in the dark with only little patches of light showing the way, it takes a lot of trust doing things this way. I catch glimpses of how these new things feel, little snippets of ideas, but not the whole picture yet. Even understanding what these new things coming in actually are, how they really translate in the real world, with real people – clients and readers – instead of sitting in my head and heart as a feeling, bringing this to life is delicate work that can't be rushed I know.
Sun-Young, dreaming in the in-between in Paris
Showing up as you really are at each current moment in time point in time, pushing the limits of your expression beyond the mask it's so easy to wear, it's not easy and I think we need to train ourselves more and more to do this in the modern world.
While I try to patiently wait for these ideas to properly land, I'm trying not to fall into old habits of fear, of taking on work or projects just for the money or because I always want to do everything. I know this will just distract me from the new things that are trying to come in and land, I'm trying really hard to only follow what lights me up, far more difficult in practice than intention. But I'm trying.
So here I am, training myself every day to not get scared about all these challenges laid out before me. These are the mountains I have to climb to get what I want, and I'm grateful they're all in front of me now and not some distant view, they are my reality, the obstacles I must overcome to move forward. And I know they're given to me for my ultimate benefit, I really believe that every experience we're given in our lives is tailor-made for us to help our souls to evolve.
For me, many of the obstacles I face challenge centre around my sense of power and self-worth. In conquering them every time, I can't help but see how much power comes from me. These situations outside of me make me feel I have no power, that I'm not good enough. I respond and come back again and again to say that's not true, that all the power in my life is in me and nothing can take that away from me.
I know all these challenges are designed to help me to evolve and to get what I need in life, even if it's painful at times. These challenges will crack me open more and more to let more light in.
So here I'll stay, in Paris, until the new year, perhaps with a few little trips in between, perhaps not as I'm still enjoying being settled for the first time in several years. But anyway, I'll write to you again when I can.
p.s. some more candid pics from the last few months...
With Sun-Young + Juan around Paris + at the Palais de Tokyo, pics by all of us
Day out exploring the 12th and the abandoned railroad with Ula, pics by both of us
At home in the afternoon light
Always something beautiful to admire in Paris
Nighttime Paris aka that one night I stayed out past midnight