Today it’s been 9 years since I moved from Paris to Pacifica, and then San Francisco. I left Roissy Charles de Gaulle Airport on November 09 and arrived one day later, after 2 planes broke and the last one missed our last connection in Pittsburg, on November 10th. Since then, for nine years, every single day I walk outside and meet somebody new, wherever it is, whoever they are, no matter how short our interaction, they systematically ask me the same question: “what brought you here?” This is why I decided to write this, and to participate to Julie’s project. To tell you my story about why “I Live here: San Francisco…”
I came here for love.
In 1998 I fell for an American man in Paris, he was on vacation, extremely long karmic story short: I commuted two years from Paris to Redwood City, “Deadwood City”, before deciding to leave everything I had built and adored to live with him in California. We bought a house in Pacifica, I got married in this red silk dress, and here I was, the Parisian girl on a coastal retreat. None of my French friends could believe it! Me neither.
At first I thought I will not survive. I could not even look though the windows: all these small houses and the big ocean were so scary too me. I was looking desperately for high energy, crowds, and tall buildings! Despite my job in San Francisco, I felt so isolated, dying inside. Then step by step, I met incredible people, developed new true friendships. I began yoga, enrolled in a 3-year Feng Shui program which I graduated from and uncovered my spiritual path. I founded Your French Accent, my “Decorator Extraordinaire and Beyond” consulting company. I learned so much during these Pacifican years…
When we divorced in very good terms in January 2008, I decided to stay in California against all odds, and moved to “The City.” I picked or actually I got picked by a studio on Potrero Hill, the place where I always wanted to live since I discovered San Francisco. I saw this apartment waiting for me in a dream before it got even posted on Craigslist! I got it despite the other 13 applicants. I moved close to the railroad, close to 280, and the noise and the pollution welcomed me as a longtime lost friend. I was back to my own life of a joyful city girl: I was back to Moi, better!
Here I learned more. The gentleman on the pictures is a close friend who I very rarely see but who opened up my heart on a new world of possibilities, revealing a part of my soul that I never acknowledged before. This is why I asked him to be part of this photo shoot. When I met him, he told me: “Catherine, you are free, nobody can claim you as his own, and nor can you claim anybody either. Now live your own life, and enjoy, fully.”
After more new beautiful heart filling karmic encounters on the hill and… a lot more meditation and introspection, I finally integrated that no love has to be possessive and exclusive to be real and durable. I understood that the biggest act of love is to set the person you want for yourself totally free. I realized that watching the seeds you planted grow on their own is more important than to gate a dry garden. It feels so good! My love and my respect for every person in my life, past/present/future, is sincere and intact, for ever.
Voilà. Now you know my story. I came here for Love. I came here for me… I have absolutely no clue where I will be in a month, a year. Times are shaking and with this boots I bought in 2000, I am walking through ruins and miracles. But you know what? Today, I live here: San Francisco. I mean: I LIVE here, and I am thankful for every second of it!
Namaste. Be good and never behave!
Catherine's website is http://www.yourfrenchaccent.com/
Her vlog is http://www.frenchshuicafe.com/