People back home constantly ask me about my life in paris, why Paris? you don’t miss your family? isn’t it too cold? It is, sometimes I am still asking to myself what am I doing here and why did I leave all my family and friends. The truth is that it is really difficult to be an immigrant. I had suffered from racism, cold, homesickness and so on, but getting out of my comfort zone keeps me alive.
When I first arrived to Paris, I was in a language school and to be honest I had in my head that this was just temporary; so I enjoyed every second of it. Second time I came to live here, after living in London, was different. I knew that I was leaving my country and my home and I ended up in a deep depression. I was still asking to myself, why Paris?
I thought I knew how to speak French, but I was so wrong, I couldn’t even ask for a paper bag in the supermarket, and to be honest, Parisians don’t do any effort to understand you. One of the biggest changes in my life was to be able to live in a 32 square meters flat with another person, to use metro everyday and to not having friends.
My life in Mexico was really easy, maybe too much. I had everything I wanted and I am really close to my family, but deep inside me I knew I wanted something different, I was a dreamer. Back then, I was known for being always in the moon, never worried, just happy. I never realized how much it bothered me till people stopped taking me serious. I wanted to prove everyone that I was more than a girl in the moon.
My first year in Paris was really difficult, to be honest I am good at languages and after 3 months I started to speak French. But my baby-sitter job was depressing and I was feeling claustrophobic in my little flat.
It wasn’t till my second year when I found my Master in Communications and I met my best friends. Even with that, I was still feeling depressed. It was like if it was not me.
During my year at ISCOM (my school) my life started to change but I still suffered from a big homesickness, especially during Christmas. Also, I was in what I thought a “perfect relationship” little I knew it was one of the main factors of my depression.
In the summer of 2017, I ended up alone and single, without a flat and with a little heart disease. It was till then when I could answer to myself, why Paris? I always thought that I was a weak person because I cry for everything, or at least that is what people used to tell me, and of course, I believed them. During that summer I was working in a big French company and I was hired for another year. I thought that it was a myth the “Series of unfortunate events” but I discovered that it was a real thing.
After my breakup with my Fiance, the French administration denied my work permit because: Immigrant. It was just bullshit what they told me, so I ended up homeless and jobless and single. I forgot to say that I grew up in a really conservative family and of course it was not an option to be like that in Paris, so my mom came to the rescue.
I am really stubborn, so I found a way to move out and to stay in an Airbnb for a month. That was the first time in my life where I lived alone, and I loved it. I was finally me. That summer was the perfect plot twist to my melodrama. I finally answered to me why I wanted to stay so much in this city and it wasn’t because of someone, or because of what people say; it was because it feels like home.
I have never been depressed since that summer, I do have my little breakdowns once in a while but that is normal. I am not religious at all, but I do believe that it was a miracle that I ended up married, with a new Master, I returned to the French company, and I did amazing friends during that year.
Now, the hard part is to come back to Mexico every year. Not because I don’t like it, I love my country. It is because of how people are doing their lives without me. How my grandparents don’t remember me because of their sickness and how my parents are getting old. I disagree when people tell me that I betrayed my country and my roots, I didn’t. Sometimes people feel better in different places. I always knew I wanted to getaway and It wasn’t because I was unhappy there, but because I knew something better was waiting for me.
I did ended up going to the psychologist like 4 times, didn’t work. It costs a lot and I just cried my soul away. It wasn’t till I got my dog Osman when I felt that all the traumas went away. During my 5 years in Paris I moved away around 6 times. Once, I started to feel out of myself, I did a little research and they call it: depersonalization, meaning that you feel yourself out of your body, sounds crazy but it is a real thing.
I realized I always have plans and I never finish them, now that I have a lot of free time, I encourage myself to do what I always wanted, and what I am good at. It is funny how people can drag you down with comments and negativity. One of the things I love in Paris is that I feel free, and I discovered myself and my passions. I do not speak perfect French now but I learned that it is okay to speak with mistakes and to not care what people say.
Now, I am having issues to find a job because I am not French and because my written French is not perfect, but that is another story…. I will find the way as I always did.