Ever since I arrived in Paris, I have felt myself slipping further and further into a low mood. The grey & cold weather, lack of people presence in the city during this holiday period, a sense of "homesickness", a certain timidness in French after 5 months of English & Spanish, and the stressful & exhausting process of apartment-hunting in Paris were getting me down. Yesterday, I truly felt that I had fallen into a mild depression, especially after having seen Apartments #6 to #10 in silvery 6'C temperatures. After a long afternoon of disappointments, I returned to my temporary apartment in Ile-Saint-Louis (thanks to the generosity of my good friend, Toshi) without any sensation in my hands and toes. I immediately crawled under the covers and wanted to cry. I even spent a good hour on the phone with Raphael (who alas is not in Paris) trying to talk through the haze and blurriness of my abjection.
After getting some tough love from Raphael, I woke up this morning and mentally decided that I would get myself out of this emotional destitution. I needed to walk around the city, see its beauty despite the weather, be around people, get my errands done, feed my stomach & my soul, feel productive and inspired and happy again... Maybe it would take longer than a day, but today was going to be a new start.
I immediately sent an email to Carin from Paris in Four Months and Grace from Will I Love Paris? to organise a lunch together at one of my all-time favourite restaurants, Café Constant. We have been meaning to meet up for ages and I thought that surrounding myself with like-minded girls with a love for Paris was exactly the dose of good energy I needed! Unfortunately, Grace is on lock-down until the end of the month due to exams, but much to my delight, Carin was in on lunch!
And so what did I do today? I got up, put on the happy perfume Raphael gave me for Christmas, put on my favourite new coat, looked out the window onto the greyness of Ile Saint-Louis, and walked out the door. I treated myself to an oranais (an apricot-based pastry) at the boulangerie downstairs and got 3 sets of errands done across the city during the morning. Errands which forced me to walk past the haunting Notre Dame, the majestic Arc de Triomphe, and the Iron Lady herself. (Not bad for errands, eh?) Then I ignored all the soldes signs and headed for lunch at Café Constant.
Meeting Carin Olsson was exactly the bit of inspiration that I needed! She is as beautiful, articulate, and positive a person in real life as she seems on her gorgeous blog. We talked about our mutual love for Paris and our decisions to move here, commiserated over our current apartment troubles, and shared our plans for the immediate future - all over plates of super delicious parmentier de cuisse de canard and filet de dourade. It was rainy & grey outdoors, but for me it was definitely warm food for the soul indoors.
Afterwards, I headed back to my temporary place on Ile-Saint-Louis with a bag of groceries and a happier heart in tow. I needed to set up more apartment visits for tonight and the next few days, but before I got home, I stopped by that same boulangerie again and bought myself an éclair café.
I figured out that it would be the "little things" that Paris could offer me, that would get me through the "big things" of the coming days. ♥