La rentrée, c’est dur!

Every August, millions of Parisians flee their city for a month of vacation. Their return in September is known as “la rentrée.” The re-entry: The return to their former life, their jobs, their homes.

I’m not quite a Parisian, but I think I now know how “la rentrée” feels. It’s hard! (C’est dur!)

Over the past 24 hours, I’ve done some grocery shopping. I’ve caught up on my laundry, caught up with a few friends.

But I haven’t quite managed to separate myself from my “other life” in Paris.

In part, it’s because of my in-box: Most of my recent emails pertain to Paris.

And in part, it’s because I can’t quite let go. For all its grime and crime, Paris is still where I feel most alive.

The next few weeks will bring lots of reflection. I’ve received a job offer, of sorts, in Paris. But will I be able to obtain a visa? Do I even want to obtain a visa, and leave my life in the States behind?

Life is full of choices … some of them tough.

I don’t know what’s best for me and Esteban. He almost died of a heart attack; I’ve got my own health problems. It’s hard to know what the future holds. But I do know this: Life is short. It’s fleeting. It’s beautiful. And it’s often hard.

As the French would say, “Questce qu’on va faire?” What are you gonna do?


I didn’t have time last Thursday to sort through all of my photos, so here’s a retrospective.

Enjoy! And there’s more to come …


  1. Your existential crisis shows that you have become a true Parisienne! I can’t help you with it, of course, but I do know that health scares remind us of our mortality. No-one gets out alive. I hope you two find the path that makes you happy.

    It has given me huge pleasure to revisit Paris with you. Your photos show an artist’s eye and reveal that you also have a gift for making friends wherever you go. It’s hard to choose favourite shots as so many of them are a delight: at random, the pink-blossom-lined steps at Montmartre; the flag-stoned alley lined with plants; the Doisneau-like shot of a couple kissing on a bridge in the sunset; the extraordinary gilded reflections of the Louvre on the pyramid. And so on. What a treat it has been to share it all! 🙂

    • Thanks so much, dancingbeastie. It’s been such a privilege to share my adventure with my new far-flung friends, such as yourself. And it’s meant the world to me to get your sweet and thoughtful comments along the way. I appreciate your insights and your encouragement. And you’re so right: No one gets out alive, so we may as well make the best of it while we can. I’ll have to think very carefully about making a big move across the pond. But in the meantime, I’m lucky to have many happy memories of Paris to sustain me. Thanks for sharing in some of those memories. 🙂

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