This is going to be a brutally honest post.
The blog so far has been seeing Paris from rose-coloured glasses. Our stories since March have been mostly upbeat about traveling, seeing the world, and loving life as unemployed people. What I haven’t really talked about is the financial stresses that have come with this huge life decision.
Ah, financials. It’s a very private matter, of course, but today I feel I need to be honest so as not to mislead anyone about how it feels like to be us.
To recap, Alex quit first and started working on Mobywan, and I quit almost 9 months later. In that time, we went from a very comfortable lifestyle with dual income, to a very cramped living situation living on just my salary. We scrounged and saved and didn’t dip into our savings account, which was mostly proceeds from the sale of our beloved apartment.
Then we used our savings to pay for our trip – flights were the big thing, and really, traveling in India and SE Asia was not that expensive (actually, Bali was, but that’s another story for another day). We further dipped into our savings to pay for the wedding, with some help from the gifts we received from family and friends. Let me just say, and this is totally super honest in keeping with the theme today, I wish we had gotten married at City Hall. We had an amazing few days with friends and family, and the wedding turned out exactly like I had envisioned – I just still cannot agree with the costs to validate something that’s supposed to come from the heart. Alex was a little crushed to hear me say this, but it is how I feel very deep down.
Anyway. So we’ve paid for traveling, paid for a big hoopla, and now…now, we pay an even bigger amount to be here in Paris, for me to attend Le Cordon Bleu. The tuition is no secret, it is listed on their website. And housing in Paris isn’t exactly cheap like we’re living in Windsor or something. So…
I had a full-on panic attack last night. My first one ever. I felt so constricted inside. I wanted to throw up constantly. I briefly considered running away and taking on a new alias elsewhere.
IT’S SO MUCH PRESSURE. I love that my husband is incredibly supportive. I feel like I have so much responsibility to love this program, to commit to it 100%, and to make sure it better damn well be good for something, that I am not sure I can imagine enjoying it. Truthfully, I can’t muster up the energy to get super excited about the first day of school because of all this pressure. Yet, I know I love baking, and even thinking about working with pastries and being covered in flour all day makes me smile. It’s just – at what cost should this joy be obtained?
Am I being completely ridiculous by making us move to Paris and live here and spend money on this program?
I am very, very aware of the even more ridiculous fact that it is a little too late to be pondering these questions, when we’re fully unpacked in this apartment and my tuition is fully paid.
You may notice the trend that we don’t tend to over-think / over-discuss things until after the fact (see example from India). You know, I like living impulsively, but I’m starting to realize I’m not mentally built for it.
So. After a long, long discussion (fuelled by jetlag) Alex is trying to help me make peace with our decisions so far, and I’m working on not feeling so nauseous about it all so I can ingest some food. I hope I’ve made my point that this year has been the most difficult for us, personally, in our adult life. The decisions we make now may or may not have a huge influence on our future, and we have no idea what’s in store for us. It makes me so very nervous. Perhaps spending all this money won’t be a big deal to us in 2017, when we’ll have been back at work for 5 years. Perhaps we’ll be the people you pitifully throw quarters at near subway stations in 2017. Perhaps it won’t be the money that leaves a lasting impression, but the experience of it all — and we’re staying optimistic that that’s the case.