Life in Paris

Vive La France : The Next 5 Years

I am overjoyed by the results of the presidential election, and thinking into the future accordingly!

My phone lit up like a candle at 8pm, when the results were officially announced. I could hardly believe it. I felt a deep, physical relief. I had invited friends of a dinner party, and we’d been enjoying ourselves before, but the party took on a new energy after the results.

Macron will lead France for the next 5 years. He will, hopefully, have a parliament to help him evolve and accomplish his agenda. My hope for him is that he will be able to bolster the left and the Socialist party, so that there is a healthy, liberal opposition in 2022.

Macron is very pro-immigration, and he will very likely make it easier for me to achieve my dreams. That begs a very important question : what are my dreams? In the next 5 years, what do I want to accomplish?

When you’re constantly focusing on the next visa, or the next hoop to jump through, it’s hard to lift your gaze towards the longer-term future.

If I had to dream about the next 5 years, what would they look like?

  1. Finish school. This could mean that I finish strong this year, or that I finish strong(er) next year. I’ll get more information on that tomorrow, when I find out if I’ve received an interview, but the end goal is the same. I want to stay out of academia for at least a few years. I’ll reflect on whether or not I want to do a PhD, but in general, my intention is to focus primarily on a career.
  2. Write a book. I’ve talked about this with friends and family for a few years. I need to finish the book that I am helping someone write, and that will likely be finished up this summer. After, I’d like to think about my own project, although I’m not looking to make a career out of it. I like the idea of self-publishing, I like the idea of writing for myself, and if you never do it, it never gets done!
  3. Save half my paycheques. E and I are in a long moment of personal finance evaluation, and I am very interested in putting away a significant chunk of money over the next 5 years. That isn’t totally possible right now, given that I’m paid minimum wage and not working full time, but I’m still able to peel off little portions of my pay for the future. I know that a full time job may come with different material expectations, so I am doing the work now to evaluate what I genuinely need, and what I may imagine that I need in the future.
  4. Move. I know that I want to become a citizen of France, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that I will want, or need, to remain a citizen of Paris. We talk a lot about how it would feel to live by the sea, and whether we’d buy a house with all those saved paycheques, or simply rent a little place near some big water, making a move is very possible in the next 5 years.
  5. Achieve a C2 on the Test de Connaissance de Fran├žais. This test is used in the citizenship application process, and I tested at a B2 in 2015. You only need a B1 to be a citizen, but I’d like to go for the gold as it were and score as high as possible on the test. I firmly believe that my work integration will be more successful with more French, and working toward a test helps me study and apply myself to French with purpose.

I am as relieved as I am hopeful. I feel like I stand a chance at an ordinary life in France over the next 5 years, and I want to make the most of that chance. My goals aren’t flashy or even terribly lofty, but the opportunity to do even the most simple things feels like an incredible blessing.

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