I’d already decided that 2013 would be my last year as a full-time resident of France. I mean, I dream of beaches and sun, and this sleep that we call winter lasts waaaaay too long for me. Plus, having a cat that keeps begging to go outside every 5 minutes (no joke, see video) means that living in a studio in Paris would be a bad, bad decision. And the suburbs are getting lonely.
But I didn’t think I’d be dealing with packing my bags so soon. I mean, like, right now. Yes, I’m getting ready for a trip to Los Angeles (where I have so many fun things planned! Stand up comedy class! Burlesque class! Aerial silks! A trip to Pennsylvania!) but I thought I would be leaving my cat with a roommate, my dog with a friend, and coming back to the same old place. But things change.
My last roommate left after one month of a failed job search. Personally I think he needed to give it longer, being an English guy who spoke no French. So I started the search for someone new. I had someone ready to move in at the beginning of January, but after a few days of not hearing from him (after his proposed move-in date), he finally called up to say that a friend of his wanted to search for an apartment together. Swell. I tried to work it out so that they could both stay here, but if they left I knew it would be disastrous for my cat. So I decided to take my cat with me. He is now registered with Air France, and I will be paying 200€ to fly him back to L.A. Fourteen pounds of cat and about 13 pounds of carrier. Weeeeee. Well, it had to happen sometime. But I sure will miss him…. So anyway, I’ve been on the search for a sublessor or roommate, with no luck. Everything I own now except for a couple items of clothing, and kitchen supplies, are now packed in cardboard boxes (and people wonder why I keep all the boxes from things I order! Ha!) and suitcases. I’ve spent the past few days looking at storage and transportation options for all this, but finally heard back from the owner of the place who granted me permission to stow my things in the garage for now. Whew! Still pricy storage, using my 900€ deposit, but better than paying storage, moving AND losing a 900€ deposit!
So yes. plans can change quickly. I still don’t know what I’m planning for. I’m planning for multiple possibilities, at the moment. Am I planning for someone to stay here while I’m gone? In which case they need furniture. Am I planning on giving up on that idea, stowing my things, selling the furniture, and seeing what happens when I get back to Paris in April? I don’t know. All of the above! All I know is that I’ll have a place to sleep until mid-April, a place to store my things, and…. faith that everything works together for the greater good.
It’s stressful, but at the same time… a nice challenge. I mean, it’s not life-threatening, it’s not extremely last minute…. I still have a week. If I do this once, I know I can do it again, and maybe even with quicker reaction time, or less confusion. I’ll know I’ve overcome a big hurdle. And I know I can. It’s kind of nice to be kept on your toes.
I saw The Life of Pi last week, and although it’s fictional (but sort of based on a true story) it made me grateful that the challenges I face are not that extreme. I can recover from this. The only thing it will really cost me in any circumstance is money. Of course I’d prefer to not waste money, but sometimes things happen… Anyway. The real-life Pi, Steve, survived 76 days on a boat in the ocean. It just puts things in perspective. And in my situation, things could turn out better than they would have before. Maybe not financially. lol. But I don’t know. Without my cat, it will be easier to travel around, and easier to find a little place in the center of Paris for a while. Learning not to get attached to furniture is a good one, too. It’s a lesson in letting go, and being flexible, and finding solutions. Being inventive and resourceful. So I hope I’m up for the challenge and make this an awesome year, whether or not I have an address when I return or not!