Pic by Ula Blocksage, wearing Paloma Wool pants + Veja sneakers
I'm trying to write to you more here just to show more of what my life is really like in an everyday sense. I feel inspired to write like this lately but I also believe there's so much meaning, things to share and beauty in real life, not solely in beautiful destinations to travel to. The beauty is in it all so here I am trying to share a more complete, balanced picture.
This week, the big thing in my mind is money. The freelance life is a rollercoaster at times, you have the big paydays, the highs but you also have periods where things get a little tight, the lows. I'm in a low, and it sucks. I just paid my rent upfront for four months, I have money coming in soon, just not today or tomorrow. These lows suck I'm not going to lie. And it's not just the fact that you have to watch each dollar (or euro in my current case) you spend. Money problems are always about way more than money, for me anyway that's how it is. The freelance money lows make me question if I can really 'make this work' because so much of the freelancing life is like putting together a puzzle of all the things you do, making it work, often only just.
For me it brings up all the doubts I've ever had in myself being able to make all the things I do into a career, it brings up all the things my friends and family and basically anyone I've ever met have ever said to me vaguely questioning whether I can make this work. But I know I'm only ever confronted with these money issues each and every time in order for me to heal another layer of 'stuff' I have around money, abundance, love, self-worth, whatever I'm currently attaching to my money story. I'm hanging in there and trying to remind myself I have infinite support and abundance all the time. But also, just honestly really looking forward to payday.
I've been managing my co-working space, Bliss Studio, for the past six weeks while the owner, my dear friend Hanna, was away in Brazil. I was a tiny bit nervous to take this on seeing as it would require me to speak a lot of French, or at least I knew I'd push myself to speak French as much as possible, but I'm so glad I did it. I improved my language skills so much over the last six weeks, some days I was nul (French for nil, zero, useless) speaking and understanding people, some days I impressed myself beyond belief, but that's the way it is for me learning this language, good days and bad days when my brain just does not work. I also loved having to be in a physical space for appointments, getting to meet people and interact in person, so much of my work is done via email, Skype, websites, social media, it's nice to do something IRL for a change. So maybe I need a little more of this in my life somehow.
I spent the day yesterday (Sunday) with my darling friend Ula, walking around Paris in the gloomy, gloomy weather – 12°C – talking about our weeks, checking out storefronts for inspiration for Ula's future skincare store, taking pictures and hiding from the intermittent rain, these pictures are from our day. We have lots of things in common the two of us, a big one being that we're determined to perfect our French. It's easy to find people to speak English with you here, that's the easy, comfortable part. But it's also not that hard to find people to speak French with you if you push yourself a little. Because in the end, that pushing and that effort makes your life easier on the whole when you get better and better with the language each day. It's exciting and it makes it easier to integrate and have a lovely life here.
We often talk about how strange it is to plonk yourself in a foreign country and go from being a self-respecting adult at home to what feels like a child in your new adopted home. Going to the post office, calling your mobile phone company to fix an error, going to have dinner with a group of French people your own age, in all these situations things can go either way for me depending on how my French and brain are going on the day, and it's frustrating on the days when you're not so whip smart.
Something Ula and I are both trying to do now is to watch a French film every week to improve our comprehension, surround ourselves with more French. And the French do make the most beautiful films, it's undeniable. So we watched La Belle et La Bête, Beauty and the Beast, last night, without subtitles. With only a few pauses to check what the hell was going on with the plotline.
Winter in Paris is truly here if you ask me, I'm already freezing. But with the cold weather, there are other perks too for life here. Everyone is well and truly back from Summer holidays now; August and September saw my friends and I in and out of Paris and I didn't see some of them for months. But now we're all back, planning things and seeing each other again.
We're going to see lots of live music, there's always a band I love playing here, something I love so much about this city. There's so many new exhibitions opening all the time too obviously and this is another way I catch up with friends, to go and see these beautiful displays together in beautiful spaces around the city. Afternoons and evenings spent lazing in parks are mostly over for the next six months but cosy cafes and bistros for a glass of wine are there in their place.
Workwise, I'm keeping up with all my regular social media, travel writing and marketing work and trying to let new things flow in when they're ready. I'm not the busiest I've ever been which means I have more time for this blog, which I'm loving so much. I want to make more time to put into this space I know. I'm writing a lot about these new things I'm feeling, catching the ideas as I notice them in my head, for now I guess that's all I can do. I pulled a card from my oracle deck a few nights ago, the patience card, and I laughed and said 'OK' to the universe on that one.
Pics by Ula Blocksage
So I'm challenging myself to write in this journal every Monday until Christmas, so I'll write again super soon!
p.s. I'm going to Pitchfork Music Festival this week in Paris and seeing this guy, Rostam, play on Wednesday, formerly of Vampire Weekend 😊 I love this song so much, it feels like hope.