I remember distinctly a moment when a friend, Mrs. S, visited me in the States. Although born in SoCal, she had been in France for more than forty years. In that time, she earned degrees, established an enviable career, married & divorced, had children, grandchildren, and more. She IS French now.
Yet, her French journey was different than mine – via marriage and not entrepreneurial.
Mrs. S shyly stepped into my office in my stick-built, concrete foundation USA home and looked around with a relatively blank stare. I remember her shifting the weight on her feet before asking me the question, gathering the courage as if it were a valid one in the first place: “Where are your filing cabinets?”
Silly me. I quickly bubbled up my answer that all of my documents are digital, and I barely needed anything like that, proudly wiping the dust off my printer.
Fast forward, and I have an entire room dedicated to my filing cabinets. Light me up. My house is a tinderbox of attestations, cotisations, and fiscales. I thought I could do #ThisFrenchLife with my old/new digital habits. Yet, the leviathan has swallowed me whole. I understand now, retrospectively, the piles of papers that Mrs. S stacked in her Dijon bedroom. The mountains of paperwork in her living room. The cabinets that took up more space than her wardrobe. And why she, even though American, couldn’t quite understand why I didn’t have half a forest laying in my office.
Manufactured ghosts of your future, past, and present.
FYI, for my courageous future and current ex-pat or immigrant darlings, I have used #Immitranslate for all of my documents and dossiers. Upgrade to the apostille for all of your translations, request the physical stamped copies, and upgrade to the digital add-on. I generally have three to five physical copies of my core documents with me at all times.
Bisous darlings, and big hugs 🤗 from France,
🇫🇷 France 🇫🇷, forever.
#thisfrenchlife #paris #expatlife #movetofrance #expat #france