Starting Again

Starting Again

So here we go, I’m basically starting everything again.

I say everything, what I mean are a few things that are actually quite big, scary and time-consuming, that I had previously failed at. Whatever. No need to be pedantic.

Tomorrow marks my first day back at university in Paris so that’s bloody terrifying. It’s also going to be my first day alone in Paris (sans friends/family/Oliver) for a long long time, and marks the start of a massive five month stint. Nervous is an understatement.

I’m really bloody scared. Like, lie awake at night staring at the ceiling kind of scared. I’m excited too, but scared is taking first place.

I shared with you a little while ago my thoughts on being bold in 2016. I meant every word of that post and still do. It really is time to hold our heads up, face it all and win.

However, something that I am a little worried about is doing just that. Facing my fears is all well and good, but what if I fail? What if, again, I can only manage a few months before I just get ill and have to come home? I mean, it happened before. What’s stopping it happening again?

And then what will people think of me? I’m on a year abroad that was optional: it wasn’t part of my official degree programme and I do not study languages. I put myself in this position so it’s entirely down to me to fight or to flee. Am I a failure for taking on something that I probably couldn’t handle, and then quitting? Am I an idiot for failing at something that every single language student has to do anyway? (This last one is why I constantly remind people that I speak no French…)

It’s probably not good to dwell on these questions so I’m going to move on to something a little more positive (I hope).

I’m restarting The Body Coach’s 90 DaySSS! Hoorah for me!

You’ll remember that I attempted the plan back in September (lol) and while the first month went pretty well, all the horrors and stresses of Paris got to me and I just couldn’t do it anymore. I was so drained and broken that I just couldn’t do anything but sleep to be honest.

Well, I’m starting again on that too. And I’m going to do it properly.

I’ve printed off months 1 and 2 in their entirety and have bound them into a nice little book, with space to add month 3 when I get there. I’m feeling really positive about this because since coming home from Paris in November, I’ve managed to emotional eat my way into jeans two sizes bigger. Yep. Don’t even.

Tomorrow I’m going to start my day with a super smoothie (avocado, yoghurt, etc) and at some point hit the gym for some HIIT. I’m almost excited.

So yes, I really am going to be bold. I’m going to be bolder than ever.

And hey, restarting doesn’t necessarily mean you failed the first time. It just means that this time you’re going to be stronger, wiser and just so much better. It was a small stepping stone that lead to the ultimate success.

So while I’m scared, I am also excited.

I’m excited about June. About heading back on that Eurostar and landing in London and saying ‘yes, I did that.’ I’m excited to finally learn enough French so as to feel comfortable. I’m excited to find my feet just a little more in Paris.

One thing I’ve been telling myself over and over is that I want to make the next five months a positive experience.

When I leave in June, or when I head back to Durham in October, I don’t want to answer questions about Paris with my standard ‘yeah it was fine’. I don’t want to go back to university thinking ‘yeah it was okay but to be honest I should have just graduated like everyone else’. That is quite honestly the worst thing that could come out of this.


Is there anything that you’re nervous/excited for?
Are you starting again?



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  • Liza Tait-Bailey says:

    I know how you’re feeling, I’m about to start a study abroad experience and I’m terrified. But I’m taking each day at a time. All I need to do is get through today and that’s all I’m asking of myself – looking at the big picture is just too overwhelming. Good luck, but remember that it’s perfectly okay if you need to go home again and that restarting shows how strong you are to give it another go. I think you are capable of so much more than you realise, but choosing what’s best for you isn’t anything to be ashamed of. Paris or not, you are an amazing person and deserve to be proud of that.

    Liza xxx

  • The Nerdy Me says:

    Again I wish you all the best, Imii! I know you can do it this time. Not many people have inner strenght to start it all over again, they simply bail and leave it all behind. You are truly an amazing person and deserve all the best 🙂 I am feeling terrified about starting university in September. It is going to be a scary and fun experience. Since I am a very anxious person and can’t do social situations, I feel more scared than excited. I will be alone, without my friends and anyone I know.

    -Leta | The Nerdy Me

  • Chantel says:

    Studying abroad is such a difficult thing to do – you should be proud that you’ve made it this far! I couldn’t even cope studying in a different city, never mind a different country, but I had the exact same feelings as you. I personally left and went back home – for me that was the best choice and that’s what you need to think about too. What’s the best choice for you? I wish you all the best and hope you enjoy Paris while you’re there!

    Chantel / Bonnie Blondie


  • Cherie says:

    Imii, I’ve been following your chronicles on Parisian pancakes but of course fingers crossed that it all goes well for you 🙂 plus Spring is coming up and this means cliche Parisian blooms and the entire French aesthetic comes out to play so you’ve got this! I’ve lived abroad for about 10 years in two countries and I understand how it takes time (much, much more than 5 months) to even get used to a place and feel comfortable so sending positive vibes your way!

    Cherie x
    say hi at sinonym

  • Martha Jane says:

    You can do it, Imii, five months isn’t a long time if you think about it. Sounds like you’ve got your positive cap on, so you’re starting out right! x

    Martha Jane |

  • Dani Fenton says:

    I’m so excited to see how your next couple of months in Paris go! I have so much hope that you’ll have an amazing time, just remember that if you do struggle at all you have a huge community here that has your back! I wish you all the best luck in the world, and know that we’re here if you need us!

    Dani x
    Simply Courageous

  • I sometimes find that in situations like this, it’s helpful to visualise the worst outcome you can (disregarding nuclear apocalypse and the like) and then asking ‘so what?’. It makes it seem less scary. I have every faith that you can have a positive experience in Paris over the next five months, but if the worst happens – so what? So you graduate a year later and you have to field some awkward questions about Paris (which people will quickly forget about, I’m sure) but maybe you’ll make an amazing friend out of someone you wouldn’t have met otherwise, or you get a job at the end that wouldn’t have been available the year before, or any number of wonderful things. You should be really proud of getting through a difficult experience that many aren’t even brave enough to attempt (myself included!) even if it hasn’t turned out exactly as you expected or wanted. Sending you all the positive vibes and good luck for the coming days & weeks – you’ve got this! x

  • Patti Blue says:

    I think it is very normal to fear failure. We all want to be good at things and achieve our goals, and there is nothing wrong with feeling worried. It just shows that you want this Paris adventure to work. Like you said, you could have easily stayed home as this is an optional thing you are doing. But you made the decision to come back, despite all the troubles you had last semester. And I think that is impressive. So don’t feel bad for worrying!
    I wish you the best of luck and happyness for the coming months and that your time in Paris will be as you want it to be and even better! 🙂
    Shifting Tales

  • Rosie | eatreadglam says:

    I can’t begin to imagine how you feel – it must be scary to throw yourself in at the deep end and study abroad, but you’ve done the first semester already, so be proud of that! Take it a day at a time, and remember that it’s all a learning experience. I really like a piece of advice on Kimmy Schmidt – she says that a person can get through anything for 10 seconds, so you just count to 10 and start over again.
    But if you really hate it, then I don’t think there’s anything wrong with going home. Don’t worry about what other people might think (easier said than done, I know) – don’t make yourself unhappy to save face.

  • Katie Louise says:

    Oh I thought you were studying French, or at least had something to do with the language! It is a huge thing to do though, and I think you’re brave for accepting that you were struggling with it, and then still returning! It’ll be one of those experiences that you look back on and think “I’m so glad I stuck it out and finished.” I know the doing is obviously harder than just thinking… But you can do it! We’re all here if you need a good moan haha. And good luck with the 90 DaySSS! (:

  • Aimee Julia says:

    I’m starting again this February with the whole diet thing. I put on more weight than I’d like to over Christmas, and I tried to stick to a diet in January but it failed miserably. There were too many left-over chocs/biscuits etc etc. This time I’m sticking to it. I’ve filled my fridge with fruits and low fat yogs for smoothies. I’ve set myself goals, lose 1 stone by June is my first goal. I’m going to do it. Good luck with Paris. I hope it comes good this time. I can’t even imagine how scary it must be, but think of how wonderful you’ll feel when you complete it! 🙂 x x

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