As I write this, I keep looking up and staring out of my (emphasis on 'my') window at the big southern magnolia tree that stands towering over the little courtyard that I now cross everyday on my way out onto the street. Anyone who knows me in Paris, knows how hard I have worked to make what I now have a reality - my own little studio in Paris, or in the words of Virginia Woolf: 'a room of one's own'. I mention these words as they have been on repeat over the past few months as I've stayed at friends' flats, carting my suitcase from place to place as I sought out more work and saved up enough money for a deposit to live on my own.
It is not easy moving to a new city. When I first moved here, I admittedly had it easy, and although the last few months have been tough, I persevered and fought (probably more than I've ever done before) to stay and make this city my own.
When people ask how I've done it, I will answer: with determination, hard work and a lot of help from my friends. I'm not someone who likes to rely on people, but I've had to allow myself to be vulnerable and ask friends for help. As a result, I've learnt a lot about myself, learnt not to take things for granted, learnt to stand on my own two feet again and learnt to become a better person, friend and girlfriend.
I've learnt more about myself in these three short months than probably the last few years living in London. I could have gone back, and I did think about it, but I feel so much better and happier for sticking my heels in the ground, making a decision to stay and making my dream to live in Paris a reality.