When you know it’s time to go

When you know it’s time to go Image

The thought of leaving France always gave me an anxiety attack. I would break into a cold sweat while my heart fluttered wildly. Then my mind would go into overdrive analyzing every possible path that would lead to an extended visa. Since 2007 I’ve managed three moves to France, each on my own merits, lived in three different regions, three different arrondissement of Paris, and have spent every moment of the last six years loving life abroad.

These last two years in Paris have been my most intimate with the French culture as I’ve worked towards my MBA at a French university – where all coursework and lectures were in French. The university opened my world into the heart of Paris where I experienced its culturally rich depths. I explored the contemporary art galleries with the next generation of great Parisian gallery directors. I enjoyed private tours to a number of museums, was invited to explore exclusive museum-worthy collections at galleries like Kraemer and Didier Aaron (where I felt like a queen touching (and sitting in) furniture you’d get kicked out of museums for trying). I interned with Sotheby’s Paris on the luxurious Rue Saint Honoré. I worked with a gallery for the Biennale des Antiquaires, one of Paris’ most famous art fairs… in the Grand Palais no less. And I was invited to other art fairs such as Art Paris, FIAC and TEFAF in Maastricht. I designed a 180-page monograph working directly with the artist, which was later published. And I sold a Calder for more than my undergraduate tuition. My friendships with the French grew naturally, organically and with time. At least one will be a friend for life. And I made lifelong friends with other amazing people from the expat community.

But this Spring, always striving to let my dreams reign, the idea of moving on from Paris stopped sending my heart into a tantrum of worry. As I listened to what my heart was telling me, new dreams began to emerge and I knew they were leading me beyond the City of Light.

I’ve worked hard not to become so wrapped up in an identity that I couldn’t let go for new adventures and, even as the francophile I may be, I never intended for the road to stop here. I’ve always believed we should fight for our dreams, but we also shouldn’t become so attached to old dreams that we fear embracing new ones. And so as I wrap up the last requirements for my MBA and think about my intentions for this next amazing, unwritten chapter in my life, my heart is telling me it’s time to set off in a new direction.

Will I ever move back to France? I think it’s written in the stars. I’ve already managed three moves here, what’s a fourth? I believe beyond a shadow of a doubt that my experience with the culture, language skills and MBA from a French university will follow me for the rest of my life and that an opportunity to return won’t be hard to find. Even if I’m mistaken, I’ll likely buy a house here one day. But in this moment, all signs are pointing towards the West.

I still have two months left in France and 100+ posts about my adventures here that I never got around to writing. ArtfullyAdored (and myself) will always have a French flair that will be hard to ignore. I don’t have all the answers of what the rest of the year will look like, but I hope you stay with me in the exciting adventures to come!

Image by Walkslee.

13 comments… add one
  1. Christine June 20, 2013, 8:30 pm

    You should be so proud of all that you’ve accomplished, congrats! Best of luck in your new transition, wherever you go, I’m sure you will find happiness and success.

    1. Stephanie June 24, 2013, 2:22 pm

      Thank you! I love reading about how your opportunities unfolded and you opted to stay. That was initially my goal and I like to think it still is. Though it’s not quite time for my life to unfold like that just yet. I’m having the time of my life which will continue to be one great adventure! It’s just leading me away from Europe for the moment. Thanks for your kind comment 🙂

  2. Anne June 20, 2013, 8:35 pm

    Wow you have achieved so much , it is amazing and well done . I have only just started reading your posts too. I wonder where the “West” is??

    1. Stephanie June 24, 2013, 2:20 pm

      Didn’t mean to be so vague! I’ll be moving to Philadelphia where most of my family and friends are and plenty of opportunity awaits!

  3. Joanne June 20, 2013, 11:22 pm

    Comme c’est bien dit ! Tu as vécu de belles expériences. Tu es jeune et le monde est si grand. Bonne chance for the future !

    1. Stephanie June 24, 2013, 2:19 pm

      Merci Joanne! J’apprécie fortement chaque instant qui me reste et je sais que je vais un jour y retourner. Merci pour tes conseils et ta gentillesse!

  4. Mary Fox June 24, 2013, 1:42 pm

    Your heart will never lead you in the wrong direction. But don’t go before we get coffee again! 😉

    1. Stephanie June 24, 2013, 2:17 pm

      Yes! We must!! I really enjoyed meeting you and I’d love to carry on the conversation. You can take the girl out of France, but you can’t take the France out to the girl.

  5. susan June 24, 2013, 1:49 pm

    Wow…big changes! I wish you the best in your travels West (and I’m sure you will let me know where you are headed). 😉

    1. Stephanie June 24, 2013, 2:16 pm

      Looks like I’m headed to Philadelphia! 🙂 I’m looking forward to getting together! Seems ages ago we met at La Minette and I still haven’t been to Terrain!

  6. TheWanderfullTraveler June 24, 2013, 4:49 pm

    It’s sad to see you leave Paris. I first discovered your blog two and a half years ago when I first began writing a blog. I was looking for inspirational blogging living within France and found La Belle in France.
    However, I followed you here with your new endeavours in living an artful life and I will follow you to Philadelphia. After all it’s the blogger we become attached to and I love keeping up to date with the art world after graduating university with a major in art history. I have no plans to get a masters degree so I do enjoy seeing that side of the coin.
    Congrats and I can’t wait to see how you will celebrate your last couple of months in France!


    1. Stephanie June 24, 2013, 10:56 pm

      You’re such a great reader, Murissa! I appreciate all of your comments, encouragement, insight and perspective! I’m happy I get to share something with someone genuinely interested – that’s what I blog for! I’m sad too because I was looking forward to your visit in to France in the Fall and getting the chance to meet you. Hopefully with Philadelphia much closer to Canada, we can still make that happen!

  7. Jessica June 30, 2013, 1:33 am

    This was such a great post and I really relate to “I’ve worked hard not to become so wrapped up in an identity that I couldn’t let go for new adventures”- this is so perfect I can’t even tell you! Excited to read more of your adventures, wherever they may be.


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