From Paris to Firenze

Something ends today, but now is the first day of your next life. You’ve gotta live a lot of lives, my love.

Tokyo, La Casa de Papel

It seemed fitting to start this article off with a quote from the last show I watched on my cousin’s couch in Paris. When I heard this phrase, it made me think so much about my life, or better yet, lives. If you would have told me three weeks ago I was moving to Italy (just like if you would have told me in high school that in a year I would be moving to Paris), I wouldn’t have believed you. It happened so suddenly and so unexpectedly, yet it felt like the stars were aligning for me to take this path.

In short, though I love Paris and it somehow still feels like home, it also had become a city in which I felt like the only thing that I kept doing day after day, month after month, year after year, was to survive. So much had happened to me in that city, from toxic situations to my sexual assault (and the mental state that had put me in). I remember being in Spain back in March of this year and talking to a friend who said, “I don’t understand, Paris has treated you so horribly yet you continue to stay. Why is that?” I simply replied with, “I don’t want to spend my life running and trying to start over and over again, because in the end, life is life. It has its ups and downs.” A few months later, I also realized that I didn’t want to just survive, yet I wanted to thrive.

I’ve always loved two languages outside of the two I grew up speaking: French and Italian. Though this move to Italy may seem like such a random change, to me, I always knew I was going to somehow spend a few months living here. I always said when I was in university that when I graduated, I wanted to spend a summer as an au pair learning the Italian language. I had studied it at the Sorbonne. Then I realized that only a few months wouldn’t be enough. I was very unhappy at my 9 to 5 and this was the second year I had decided to put off my second year of masters for personal reasons. It truly felt like the time to do such a thing was now. With no serious relationship, no kids on the horizon, nothing to pay off, nothing other than my personal love story with Paris attaching me to it, I decided it was time to take the leap.

The pandemic has also changed how I view things. We never know when things will be taken from us. I never thought that being able to freely be able to move around, sit on a terrace, enjoy time with friends and family would so easily be taken away from us. So, why not do things now instead of waiting and waiting? We never know what tomorrow will bring.

So I quit my job. I wasn’t happy, and I was under so much stress. I made a profile on Au Pair World and a family replied to my profile within a day. After doing a video call with them, they told me that they would love to have me. Within two weeks, I moved out of my apartment, did all the paperwork I needed to do to move abroad and here I am.

There have also been so many signs that were leading me to do such a thing, and I believe that we should lookout for what life is trying to tell us. My friend was looking for an apartment. I booked my one way ticket unconsciously for a date that has repeatedly been important in my life.

The app Co-Star always freaks me out with how accurate it sometimes seems to be.

To be honest, I am comparing my move to Italy a lot to my move to France. I don’t know if it is the age or what, but this move seems a lot less lonely. Maybe it’s also because I know that Paris is only an hour and a half plane ride away. I know that the family and friends I made in that city will still be here for me, wherever I decide to go. My Italian level is definitely a lot better than where my French was when I first arrived to Paris. I can follow conversations, though I can’t really converse. I speak like a child, but I make myself understood somehow. My host family has been very open and inviting with me, and very attentive to me and my transition into their life and their country. Also, the Italian culture doesn’t seem so foreign to me as the French one did. It reminds me so much of Spain, the place I call my home home.

Anyways, thought I should pop on here, since I have been so silent. There’s always a reason. Life is ever changing, and sometimes I wish I could be more transparent about everything that is going on and my thoughts behind such things. Right now, is not the moment though, because right now, it’s time to enjoy what this new life is giving me. It’s time to accept that life can be good.

Baci, Bisous, Besos, XOXO

You can follow more of Veronica


Instagram: @veronicalavil

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