In an attempt to write more frequently here at Lou in Paris, I have taken some inspiration from The Spike. Shorter posts will now (hopefully) live in amongst the longer think / travel pieces!
Starting with this one on homesickness. Yeah, not the cheeriest of subjects I know but these things can't be helped. Promise I won't just moan at you for ages about a first world problem.
Homesickness was NEVER a problem for me at boarding school (9-18). Even when bullying got pretty bad (does anyone leave school without a bullying story?!) it was very upsetting to have to leave and move to a new boarding school.
It's been mentioned before in this space - when I moved to Paris I was itching to leave the U.K. In need of something new, Paris has kept me busy since the get go. Obviously, there has been a lot of change over the past eight years. Change is good! We embrace change! But we embrace it less when that includes the onset of homesickness (or "mal du pays" as they say in French).
I found myself having a moment in Monoprix last weekend over a packet of Regent's Park Earl Grey biscuits (disclaimer: I would never buy this sort of stuff were I to live in the U.K.). I was proud when my boyfriend happily accepted the pack of McVities chocolate digestive biscuits - I took it as further proof of why we are together ; )
And I don't want to come across as ungrateful because living abroad enriches my life enormously. Brexit will never not be upsetting to me. But living in a foreign country and speaking another language can sometimes be a little lonely and frustrating. I'm realising that it's simply part of the deal and to go easy on myself. We have Marks and Spencers for God's sake! I have French friends who will happily listen to me blabber on in a weird mix of French and English before they respond in a similarly weird mix of French and English!
It's the language I find myself missing most, especially as I work in social media, which is all about having a good comeback. I miss out on certain jokes with colleagues or I don't know how to translate a response that I know would get a few laughs in English. No-one here really cares (rightly so) about the relationship dynamics of Noel and Liam (Gallagher). But some days, I really do!
Basically, I feel like I'm on mute sometimes. Thank God for Whatsapp and Facebook Messenger - they are my lifeline to English friends and conversations! If, like me, you're someone who has the occasional "mal du pays" then I highly recommend "We'll Always Have Paris" by Emma Beddington! A dear (English) friend sent it to me and it always comes out whenever I feel a bit blue.
Over and Out,