Last Spring in Paris ?

This could be my last Spring in Paris, and yet, I feel I could fall in love with the city again.

Notre-Dame : petal pool
Notre-Dame : petal pool

Here in Paris, Spring has brought its vibrant colours and charming fragrances for almost two weeks now. It’s quite fascinating to see the city being born again, with blooming trees everywhere, birds singing their love songs every morning in the trees before my window, and of course, lovers wandering in the city and on the banks of the Seine river until the sun sets. There really two Paris : the one during winter where people look anxious, tired and seem to run from their home to their office and from their office to their home every morning and every night (since in Winter, it’s already night when you leave your office), and the one when it’s warm enough outside to enjoy the late-afternoons on the terrasses of some Parisian café with friends and coworkers, and when every sunny noon becomes an opportunity to improvise a picnic on the banks of Canal Saint-Martin or Quai de l’Arsenal.

Unsurprisingly, this is the Paris I like the most. I can spend time outside with friends after work, take a photography stroll if the weather is nice, and it doesn’t feel like I’m ever coming back home too late. I think it makes me fall in love with the city agains. And yet, this might be my last Spring in Paris.

Indeed, my landlord notified me lately that I would have to leave my apartment by August 7th. His mother, who was the owner of apartment, died lately, and he just can’t afford to keep the apartment due to heavy taxes on inheritance. Of course, he offered me the opportunity to buy the apartment, but this is Paris : the prices are just crazy, and I can’t afford it. So I’ll have to leave. To be fair, though, I’m more sorry for him than I am for myself : having to sell this apartment that has belonged to his family for generations is really heartbreaking.

Now, I could just leave for another apartment in Paris, I guess. I’ve thought about this. Why not try and find an apartment in Vincennes, where I currently live ? Or why not going back to Boulogne-Billancourt, which I dearly miss every time I have to go there for work ? Well, all these look like wrong decisions when I really think about them. I like Vincennes, but only because it’s not far from work while not being as anxiety-provoking as Paris. It’s not a place where I want to settle down, though. Regarding Boulogne-Billancourt, I like it a lot : I know the place, and I often find I miss it. But I miss it because I miss the life I had there and I somehow wish I could get it back. But this is not up to me.

So I’ve figured out this was maybe the right time to kick myself where it’s appropriate and to look for jobs in Lyon, though some opportunities abroad may tempt me. Lyon is the city where I would be right now hadn’t I found the best reason of all to stay in Paris : love. Now I’m single, I guess it makes more sense to reconsider my choice of working in Paris. In Lyon, I have my family, some friends, and above all, contrary to Paris, I can think of building something there. In Paris, everything is so pricy when you want to start a life, and office hours can be so crazy, that I just wonder how clever people get attracted to it. If you’re not a millionaire or don’t inherit any apartment, then good luck. This absence of perspective is quite stressful to me.

And this is the second reason for me to leave : Paris is making me anxious. I’ve realised it lately : I’m way more anxious about everything here than I’ve ever been anywhere else. And this is affecting my personal life too much. I’m grumpy, angry, always complaining… This is not right. This is not the person I am. This is not how I want to spend my life. And I realise it also negatively affects those around me, who do their best to support me. I know I need to improve my anxiety-management skills, not to get overwhelmed by stress, and above all, not to make people around me anxious and miserable, as I did in the past with people I loved the most. But I can also try to live in a less anxiety-provoking environment.

All in all, the next few weeks should be capital in my decision to leave Paris once and for all. In the meantime, I’ll just try to enjoy the city as much as I can, wandering in the streets with my camera as I’ve always done.

3 thoughts on “Last Spring in Paris ?

  1. Your photos are GLORIOUS! They capture beautifully the vibrant color of the cherry blossoms, but also how fragile and fleeting they are. But I’m terribly sad both for you and your landlord that the astronomical inheritance taxes are forcing him to sell the apartment. This is an outrage! All the more so because I hear stories like this one all the time. I do hope your decision to stay in Paris or leave will be both clear and decisive. It is a beautiful city, but as you’ve said living there does come at a price. No matter where you decide to settle after August I hope you will find happiness and peacefulness, Pierre.


  2. Salut Pierre,

    I enjoyed reading your story about the last spring in Paris.

    I can imagine that it will be difficult to leave Paris, because you liked so much living there.

    I hope you make the right choise, and i whish you a very good start in Lyon.

    Bonne chance, et j attends des nouvelles photos de Paris, òu Lyon?


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