I’ve been stressed out before. Haven’t we all? But this time, stress was pulsing in every vein in my head, sucking on the sweet nectar of grey matter.
It was 2 days before my take-off to Paris that I noticed how beaten up my mental state was. February 26th. Until then, I have been dealing with stress by following the motto “One step at a time”. It was simply: breathe in, right foot forward, breathe out, left foot forward. Then repeat and repeat until you reach a point where you can walk without having to remind yourself to breathe.
On that particular day, however, my brain shut down, so that I couldn’t communicate with myself anymore. Picture a house during a flood. The most you can do is to find a high place to shelter. Everything else was drowning in water. Well, my brain was running in pilot mode, making sure all vital organs were functioning normally. Other than that, my cognitive functions were messing up horribly.
Mind you, this February might have been the most epic month that I’ve made through. Started with a day trip to Berlin on the 1st and ended with moving to France on the 28th, it has been 28 days of physical as well as emotional stress. Visited 3 countries in 2 weeks (a story for another time), meanwhile clocking in 80 working hours, meanwhile packing up to move to another country. Not to mention the numerous meet-ups and farewell dates with friends. That was definitely my personal record of a productive month.
Anyhow, I made it to Paris safe and sound. The city will be my home for the next 4 months.
To re-cap, here are my highlights for the past few days:
- The Uber drive home
- Meeting Shayna from Purple Palace (my favorite Youtube channel) and inspiring new friends
croquemonsieur from my local boulangerie
- Orientation day at EFAP and the realization that this uni is way cooler than my home uni
platoand its humongous “French tapas” plate for 10 people
- Thrift shops and precious gems
At some point, you have to break away from a familiar environment and dive head first into a very uncomfortable situation. Because the human core is intrinsically masochistic, we need negative emotions to generate more positive emotions and through that, to find our life purpose. Actually, the situation may not be bad at all, we just have to turn it bad by overanalyzing and making everything more serious. Remember “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure”? The problem that you are having might very likely be no big deal at all for someone who is less fortunate.
Our modern world is full of complaining people. Complaining is in our DNA. There can always be something that is not quite right, not quite comfortable, not quite proper, not… enough. I don’t want to promote negativity, but try listening more carefully to people around you, and you’ll be surprised at the frequency of complaints from everyone. That is why it is recommended to frequently get out of your safe nest. Dealing with different types of complaining can help give you valuable insights into the general interest and intellect of your social circle. In fact, you will understand yourself better – based on the people that you socialize with.
Most importantly, meeting new people liberates me from tedious routines and revives my creativity. Each person is inspiring in their own way, each offers a lesson that is crucial for anyone who wants to widen their horizon.
I felt so free, walking the streets of Paris. There’s something close to a pleasant secret that warms up the heart when I reminded myself: “This will be your home for the next four months.” Completely opposite to the anxiety that I felt before coming here, until now, Paris has been giving me the best treatment I could wish for.
Being a weather-sensitive freak, I was worried that Paris would do me even worse than Hamburg. Fortunately, it has been the other way around. Miraculously, somehow the sun still manages to come out of the clouds at least once a day, despite the weather forecast showing that it will be a rainy day. This tiny detail – the few precious minutes of sunshine per day – is just enough to fill my heart with joy and gratitude. It is the drive behind the silly smile on my face when I occasionally glance at the sky.
Finally, I can really sense life slowing down its pace. The puzzle pieces I’ve been holding so long in my nervous hands are falling into place. Life will certainly hand me new pieces, and I will comply. Until then, c’est la vie est belle.