À Bientôt, Paris! ♡

 

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The end of a chapter and the beginning of another.

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My last week in Paris has come to an end. Tomorrow is the day I fly home after nine whole months here. Three quarters of a year. Even if it’s not that long, it feels like I’ve done, seen and experienced so much.

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When I came here, I instantly felt home. Maybe it was because I had spent 10 months planning and visualizing it. But really, I felt completely comfortable here. I tried to eat more Nutella in the morning á la France, drink more wine á la France, say “putain!” á la France. I didn’t feel homesick. Maybe because I kept some Swedishness in my life as well.

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Paris will always mean so much to me. It will be a special symbol for me. Not only a symbol of love, light and fashion. But a symbol of my first big adventure. The start of my adulthood. I will one day think back to the curious and passionate 19-year-old I once was and how I used to walk these streets. Or should I say “rues”?

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Even if I have to leave Paris now, it’s not goodbye forever. I’m very open to come back one day soon. I need to be in Stockholm for the rest of the year. Then I need a new city. But Paris, will always be one of my homes.

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Standing here packing everything, I realize how tough I actually am. I feel myself cheering for me. Once upon a time I worked almost 6 days a week, skipped having a free summer, packed almost everything I own and came here. I lived, I loved and went through hardships. I got closer to myself and made the right decision for my own sake. And now I am packing to get ready to take a flight home. I know what I have to do. Going home is not taking a step back. But a gigantic step forward. Why – I will tell you one day.

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I want to take this opportunity to thank all the people I’ve met here. French, Swedes, Australians, Brits, Irish, Tunisians, Russians, Austrians, Americans, Polish and so many more interesting nationalities. Thank you for teaching me so much about your home countries and cultures, especially you French. Thank you to the people who took care of me with pep talk, food and company when I needed it the most. I’ve made so many new friends and tied bonds between not only Sweden and France but between Sweden and everywhere! You know who you are. Let’s keep follow each other’s unique journeys and see each other again soon.

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This experience has made me even more excited about moving to other countries. This is just the beginning of an endless love story with life.


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Two Weeks Left

Oh the time flies!

I only have two more weeks in Paris. Suddenly I have to book meetings with all my friends here in order to properly say goodbye. And I have to hurry up doing some things I still have on my list!

This weekend I ticked off a few though; I went inside and up in the tower of Sacré Coeur. I’ve spent many evenings on the stairs, talking about life with friends but I’ve never actually entered it. It’s such a unique and beautiful building. I actually like it more than the Eiffel Tower. Speaking of the Eiffel Tower, I finally went up there too and all the way to the top! That is of course a must do when you’re in Paris. I also took a ride on the Seine. It was a lovely weather, thankfully. I did it all with one of my closest friends visiting from Sweden which was so much fun. We also catched up over some cheese fondue and drinks in the buzzing Marais. Nights like this is one of many reasons I love this city!

These last two weeks will be a puzzle. I have to continue working but also squeeze in all my friends + get ready to move home. Hectic! But I will manage. If I post shorter or fewer blog posts it’s because of this. Hope you understand!

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Becoming Who I Want To Be – The First Month

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One month ago I started a project. A project to go from being lost and unmotivated, to get back to joyful me and from there become the ideal me. On the 16th of May I wrote down my feelings and my goals for the next coming month of this project in a blog post. You can read it here. Now it’s been a month and it’s time to share my progress, thoughts and reflections of my journey. The challenge is to not make this too long. Here we go;

How I felt one month ago

I felt lost. I felt small in a giant world. I felt like I had the answer deep down in me and that my soul was calling for reunion. But I felt like I was on a roller coaster. It was up and down. I felt anxiety and peace. The soul and the ego were fighting over me. I felt lonely, unmotivated, uninspired, unloved, miserabel. I felt like I was far away from family and true friends. I felt like I was on the wrong path in my career. I was stuck.

How I feel now

I feel sooo much more like my old happy self. I feel the joy and love for life again. I’m motivated and excited to work on myself and become my ideal me in a few months. I work every day towards her. It’s still not perfect though. I sleep at the wrong hours and sometimes I’d rather watch Youtube videos that to write. But I’m definitely feeling more peaceful within. I wake up feeling happy and I go to bed with a smile.

What have I done this month?

Week 1 – During the first week I wrote down who the ideal me is and what her habits are. I had weekly goals that were pretty high. But I was still so down. I was so unproductive. I didn’t even achieve half of the goals for the week since I was so unmotivated and lost. I felt emotional pain and anxiety. I cried at some point every day of the week. It was like I knew what I had to do but it was so hard. I felt stuck. That weekend someone told me I had to get a break and took me to Normandie in west of France. I still felt so much in my head, but the nature, the ocean and the feeling of summer made me feel better and more peaceful. I knew in my heart that I was going in the right direction. But it was tough.

Week 2 – The week started in a good mood after the trip. I felt reloaded with energy. I still had quite high goals on myself. I planned many friend dates – girl nights in, clubbing, dinners etc. I felt ok, but it was still a bit of a roller coaster. I could feel happy and then much less happy after an hour. I wasn’t productive enough to achieve my weekly goals and I realized that I needed more time for myself next week.

Week 3 – I planned to have more me-time this week but because of various reasons, I couldn’t be by myself as much as I had hoped to. The first two days of the week I still felt this ball of anxiety in my stomach. I felt helpless. I woke up every morning feeling empty. On the Tuesday I thought about one of my options and thought about it seriously for a while. The same afternoon, I discussed this with my mother and the more we talked about it, the more it felt right. I made a decision – to go home in July. I understood that Paris can’t give me what I need right now. Stockholm can. Ones I made the decision, I felt liberated. I felt less anxious. The old me was slowly coming back. I slowly became more joyful. I started to visualize the rest of my year; one month of just breathing, reading, family time and meeting up with all my friends. Then update my CV and LinkedIn profile to go all in for my career and find a job that I felt passionate about. I would work there for about a half year and then pack my bags again to go to my next destination. Oh it sounded perfect! And actually, deciding to go home made my love for Paris flourish. I wanted to enjoy it as much as I could.

This week I also became kinder towards myself. My weekly goals were low and focused mainly on taking care of myself spiritually, mentally and physically. I felt like my foundation needed nourishment before building career and relationships. That Saturday we also had the TEDx event and I felt so alive working with the team and in the TEDx spirit. These are the types of things and the types of people I want to work with full time!

Week 4 – I finally started to feel more balanced between me-time and social life. I focused on me the first half of the week and then planned fun stuff for the second half. I felt like I got much more time with myself and that was very needed. I slept better (but the wrong hours; 3 am to 11 pm), meditated more and got more exercise going. I fell in love with Pilates and did several sessions. I was very satisfied with myself – I was being much more productive. I could separate the voice of my soul from the voice of my ego. Instead of feeling lonely, I loved me-time. I even reduced my usage of Facebook and spent that time on rewriting my vision, creating a “meditation spot” and writing. The only negative aspects were my crazy sleeping hours, my unbalanced diet (sometimes no breakfast, not much protein, not much vegetables and fruits) and that every day, the first one or two hours I would feel a bit down. But it would turn as my positivity kicked in and I would feel really good for the rest of the day. But I think clearer. I know what I want and what I need. I feel like myself again. I’m excited.

Week 5 – This week I’m still not getting up as early as I would like to because I fall asleep so late. But I am seeing more consistency in other habits! I’m eating more balanced. I am drinking many more glasses of water every day. I work out 3-4 times a week. I subconsciously take up my notebook and read through my weekly and daily goals several times a day. Even my mental habits are healthier (not judging, hating, more understanding etc.)! I’m also craving work. So this week I started to slowly do some more work and I even got a new client. I’m balanced between me-time, work and social life. I’m excited about going home to Sweden but I’m also excited to see and experience as much as I can of Paris ❤

Did I reach my goals?

In the previous post about this journey I had a few goals for the coming month.

  • Improved some of my habits, at least one should be consistent
    • ✓ At least two are very consistent; weekly/daily goals and my water intake.
  • See a change in myself, physically, mentally and spiritually
    • ✓ I’m already seeing results from the Pilates, I’m having a more loving and understanding thinking and I’m feeling closer to my soul.
  • Improved in achieving my weekly goals
    • ✓ I went from achieving less than half to achieving at least two thirds!
  • Improved my time management
    • ✓ My time management is definitely better; Mon – Fri me-time and work, Fri-Sun friends and fun stuff!
  • Improved my social life
    • ✓ I’ve seen a lot of friends and strengthened my relationships over the last few weeks. I’m just sad over leaving them! 😦
  • Gotten closer to my career goals
    • ✓ Yes, slightly closer as I have focused more on my well-being than my career this month, but the Happy Careerista brand is getting stronger and I did get some work done (and a new client) for my freelance biz.
  • Feel happier than I did this month – wake up with happiness, gratitude and love in me
    • ✓ 100% happier and feeling so much more like myself again!

So I nailed all the goals! Woo!

Next month I want to

  • Have two more habits consistent (consistent sleeping schedule should be one of them)
  • Feel even more evolved physically, mentally and spiritually
  • Have seen as much as I can of Paris (been up in the Eiffel Tower, exhibitions, been inside Sacré Coeur, gone Versailles etc.)
  • Have an idea of what I want to do when I get home and have some sort of plan
  • Make Happy Careerista even stronger!
  • Happily fly home to Stockholm ❤

If you managed to get through the whole text – thank you for coming by! Another update will be coming July 4th. Meanwhile;

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Preparing for Paris – An Instagram Journey

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You might notice that I was up at almost 4 am in the morning. Yes I was. I was sleepy but couldn’t fall asleep anyway. Then I got the fantastic idea to check when I posted my first Instagram picture on HappyCareerista. 21st of May, 2013 (Exactly 3 years before TEDxIHEParis!). I started looking through my pictures and then got to the first picture where I mentioned my plan of moving to Paris. I decided to go here when I was in London for New Years and I planned to go after graduating high school. I really got obsessed with this goal of mine. That’s probably why I also achieved it. Here are some screenshots proving my obsession from the first mention of Paris to a few days after getting here. Enjoy 😂

The first time I mentioned my new dream was in January last year. This is when I started research for real.

I had already started watching videos learning some French since I didn’t know much at all! Then I downloaded apps, found really good Youtube channels and studied for about 30 minutes a day. I really tried to be consistent and learned really fast!

Commuting was one of the best opportunities to visualize about this city in the South.

And at some point this happened. Not stereotypical at all! But that party was fun and except for when everyone tried to eat my baguette…

Ask and you shall receive. During my 8 months in Paris, I’ve lived in 5 (!) different places and Montmartre was one of them!

Paris. Paris everywhere!

These are still places I want to live in. I can also add California, Australia and the Netherlands. I will probably add more countries and cities like Japan in the future.#ExploreTheWorld

I didn’t have much money or knowledge of French or even of living on my own! But I made it.

Always counted the days.

Even tried to celebrate the national day all the way from Stockholm.

Did I mentioned that I was obsessed with this idea?

I don’t think I realized what I was going to do until it got this close. I had worked so hard to save up money. And finally the plane ticket and the apartment were booked and it all got very real.

And finally the goodbye dinner with friends came and I would two days later take my bags and go to France for the first time and all by myself. One of the scariest and most exciting things I’ve done so far.

Et voila! A dream came true in 10 months ❤ Nothing is impossible!

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Friday April 15th

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Yesterday I tried to take photos throughout the day to let you “follow me around”. Here’s what it resulted in;

As soon as I got up I had a glass of fresh water. This always makes me feel more awake and good. To get me in a peaceful state of mind, I put on one of my favorite channels for meditation – JBittersweet. This doesn’t just help me feel more calm and peaceful but also increases my oxygen intake as I breathe deeper. I follow this up with visualization of my quarterly goals. I read every “statement” out load and picture it in front of me with closed eyes. When I’m done I overview my weekly goals to get an idea on what to focus on during the day.

After breakfast and shower, I treated myself some home made body oil as I’m not so into my current lotion. Easily made with olive oil (coconut is another great alternative) and one or more essential oils. I chose gardenia for this one. The skin gets sooo soft.

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After getting dressed and ready, I walked a few minutes in the sun to Parc Monceau in the 8th arrondissement of Paris. There I met two friends for a chat, coffee, crêpe and walk. This park is lovely with ruins and green grass. It’s so wonderful to have the spring here with sunshine almost every day.

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After a cafe crème and a crêpe Nutella, I was ready to sit down and work for a few hours. Got a lot of writing and designing done especially – and also some business development for my freelance business and this blog.

After many hours of work, I closed the computer and tried to create a nice Friday dinner + drinks look. As it’s my birthday tomorrow, and I’ve decided to postpone the celebration a few weeks, my friends still wanted to take me out for dinner. We went to Belleville which is very famous for its Asian restaurants everywhere. We ended up at Gao Min and we had a lovely time. Moved on to drinks at a bar close by and talked to both Brits and a very cute but uncomfortable dog. I don’t think he enjoyed the buzz as much as his human.

The group of four split in two and two and went to different parties. I enjoyed lounge house, punch and two fellow Swedes from midnight to morning, at La Rotonde in Stalingrad. A taxi home and a cozy, welcoming bed. That way my Friday.

I will try to do these more if it’s appreciated!

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Six Beautiful Months in Paris

Today I celebrate 6 months in Paris. 6 months living abroad, 6 months away from Sweden, 6 months of having to take care of myself completely. And what a ride it has been! I’ve experienced, learned and seen so much. I’ve learned new things about myself, about the world, about love, about what really matters. This is just the beginning as I would like to live abroad for a few more years, if not forever. If it’s in France or somewhere else, I’m not sure yet. I trust that I will be lead right anyway. Since I’m buried in work, I will have to wait with cultures differences, things I’ve loved, dislikes etc for another post. If you’re interested in Paris related posts, let me know!

  
Although I’ve been here for a half year, I haven’t done these things yet;

– Gone to any museums

– Gone to Versailles

– Been at Galleries Lafayette or Printemps

– Gone on a canal boat on Seine

– Entered Sacré Coeur

So I still have lots to do and explore here. Paris, I’m not done with you!

Je t’aime❤️🇫🇷❤️