Get Off the Fence!

It’s Uncomfortable, and Sends Mixed Signals to the Universe

I’d been straddling two countries, one foot in France and the other one in the US. And it was getting uncomfortable.

When I first moved to France, I had lots of connections in the US that I kept up with regularly. I still owned a house there, which I’d rented out. And, I also had a storage unit to hold the few remaining items with which I struggled to part.

I was living in France and had been for two years, and as time passed, ties to my home country loosened. My connections there, once secure, faded. But making good friends in France was difficult, so while I felt at home there, at times, I felt very isolated. Was this really where I was supposed to be?

I was an American living in France, and unsure of where I belonged. I could not answer a question which so many of my friends and acquaintances have asked me: “Are you going to live in France forever?”

But at some point, you have to make a decision, a commitment. If you don’t you risk having the decision made for you. But before the decision gets made (one way or the other), you will feel discomfort arise inside of you. You’ll get a feeling that you are untrue to yourself, that you are living (at least in some way) a lie.

Eighteen months of riding the bus because I was afraid to buy a car in France was inconvenient and a source of discomfort. Continuing to pay rent for a storage unit, half full with stuff I wasn’t sure I still wanted, was a discomfort. Paying for repairs on a 20-year-old house that I was still paying a mortgage on was a discomfort. And the fact was, while I still had a few close friends in the states, we communicated less and less frequently. They had their US lives, and I had my French one. I felt more alone and on my own without deep connections in France. This was a source of discomfort too.

I hadn’t wanted to go back to the US to live. And being stranded here during this pandemic has made it crystal clear, and affirmed to me that France is where I want to be. I plan to live in France for a long time, perhaps forever (though I can’t see the future). As difficult as letting go of my old life has been, it is clear that France is where my heart is. So I made a decision.

Following this decision, I bought a car in France, even though getting the insurance and registration card, was an administrative hassle. And I’m in the process of exchanging my Virginia Driver’s License for a French one.

Last year I sold my house. And this year, I emptied my storage locker and shipped my belongings to France. And, I’m happy to say that I now respond to the question of whether I will live in France forever, more assuredly, and with a smile on my face. I answer, “Yes, I see myself living here for a long time!”

I’d committed to putting down roots and making deeper connections by enrolling in a local tai-chi class in my village, though this might not happen for a while in the wake of COVID-19. I’ve also committed to mastering the art of small talk when I’m out and about, now that I speak French more proficiently. To support my commitment to this, I ended my subscription to the online dating service in which I’d been enrolled for two whole years. This step will push me to be more outspoken, as finding my soul mate remains a top priority.

In deciding to become more active in my community and to meet potential suitors as a part of my daily routine and with new hobbies that I was to have started this spring, I was committing to my new life and building community in France. I’m still stranded in the US amidst the Coronavirus pandemic, so it is hard for me to see, right now, how my actions are moving me forward. My plans to take part in new hobbies might be severely limited when I am able to return. However, I believe my actions send a strong sign to the universe that I’m “all in” for a beautiful life in France.

Since committing and making these changes, I noticed something interesting. Soon after canceling the automatic renewal of my dating subscription (about a month before it expired), I meet someone who holds potential. I pray that things continue to go well and am excited to see how this unfolds. But whatever happens, my clear energetic direction and commitment to life in France will serve me well.




Bold, fledgling entrepreneur, author, podcast host Discovering Courage, Finding Freedom, Living in France! Adventures.Insights. Stories.

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Patricia Brooks

Patricia Brooks

Bold, fledgling entrepreneur, author, podcast host Discovering Courage, Finding Freedom, Living in France! Adventures.Insights. Stories.

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