I just came back from my first trip to Philadelphia, PA, after moving back to France last April. Everyone here is asking me: how did it feel? Would you want to move back there? How about London? Didn’t you want to move to London? How about Paris? How about…
As much as all those potential destinations sound exciting and rich in new adventures, I find myself longing for a place to call my own. And it made me wonder: am I ready to settle down? When and how do you know when you’re ready to drop your bags for “good”?
I happen to stumble upon this article: 10 Things You Should Do Before Settling Down and thought I would take the test to see where I stand…
1. Find a job you love and kick ass at it: Check!
It took a little bit of time, and sometimes I feel like I’m a cat with several lives… from advertising career girl to bohemian Club Med G.O., from “has-her-s…-together” manager to moonlighting as a dance instructor… I’m happy where I am now: entrepreneur, blogger, social media maven and I’m good at it! I can honestly say, I’d be happy doing this job for the rest of my life.
2. Have a summer fling with a hot foreigner: Check!
Several times indeed… I happened to spend my teenage summers on the French Riviera, perfect location for hot foreigners summer flings: Italian, Croatian, American… Ahem…
3. Get your heart broken at least once: Check!
No need to get into details. If you have been following my blog and the previous versions of it, you’ll know…
4. Stay out all night, just because: Check!
I haven’t pulled an all-nighter in a while, but I remember that one night up in the Pocono’s cabin when 4 of us decided to stay up all night, just because. We talked, we played, we danced (even if we were not really supposed to…), and we watch the sun rise on the mountain, bundled up in blankets and drinking hot cocoa… It was a wonderful time.
5. Set a goal and actually reach it: Check!
I had set 4 years as my life-abroad goal. I felt like it was the minimum to make the experience really worth it and absorb a decent amount of culture. I ended-up staying 8 years in Philly.
6. Learn how to ask for what you want (and get it!): Check!
My immigration lawyer said: expect to be given trouble for your traveling visa when you want to come back in the U.S. He said: expect not to get it. When I faced the immigration officer, at the American Embassy in Paris, last September, I was polite, I was honest, I was respectful. I didn’t need more than a 2-weeks visa, I asked for what I needed. They gave me 10-years of hassle-free traveling.
7. Go on a spontaneous trip with the girls: Maybe?
Well, we’d need to define the degree of spontaneity and the level of “trip” we’re talking about… Does my day-trip with C. to the Romans Outlets count? Or does it need to be overnight? Something that I wouldn’t completely check yet and probably add on my bucket list instead.
8. Become totally, completely, 100% financially independent: Check!
For a while now…
9. Live in a different state…or country: Check!
See point #5…
10. Fall in love with the person of your dreams: Maybe?
I guess it depends if you look at it as a blessing or a curse. I am intimately persuaded that I have once met the person of my dreams. I know I have fallen in love with him (and others too). Did I ever get the fairy tale love story? No. Will I settle for anything but the butterflies? No. Will I finish my life alone? Maybe. Some will say “better alone than in bad company”… I hope I won’t finish my life alone. But I don’t think that should be of any influence in the settling down question. After all, it takes two to Tango, and falling in shared love is not something that one has the power to control. So, consequently, it shouldn’t influence one’s life decisions. Love is not something you wait to happen in order to deal with things, love is something you deal with when it happens (and you keep on living your life in the meantime.)
I guess the result speaks for itself… I’m ready. Good thing I found an apartment last week. 2013 will be the year when I drop my luggage and start building.