I can’t believe it’s March already! I have been living in Paris for two months and in some ways it feels like I just arrived. This morning over my breakfast of bread and Nutella (of course!) I sat musing about the past two months and how it feels to be an expat again. In 2007 I spent a year living and working in China. It was one of the most rewarding and one of the most difficult years of my life. At the end of it I returned to California and experienced major reverse culture shock. I lost myself a bit in the process and it took me awhile to find my way back.
I think it can be hard as an expat to hold onto yourself. You spend so much time trying to learn the rules of your new home and adapting to that culture that you can loose yourself along the way. This is what happened to me in Hong Kong. It’s a fine balance between being open minded and having no mind of your own. So how do I prevent this from happening in Paris? How do I adapt to the culture of the school and to the French culture, and not loose myself along the way? I’m not sure that I have the answer. I’m trying my best to just be myself and this is the mantra that I fall back upon whenever I’m feeling unsure. I am trying to be true to my core self and values, but to be open to all that is new as well. Will I loose myself along the way? It’s possible but at least I know I will find my way back as well.