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March 2006

One Word Exercise

Describe yourself using only one word.

1. Yourself: Sentimentalist.
2. Your Lover:
3. Your Hair:
4. Your Mother:
5. Your Father: Formidable.
6. Your Favorite Item: Journal.
7. Your Dream Last Night: Omma.
8. Your Favorite Drink: Water.
9. Your Dream Home: Paris.
10. The Room You Are In: Office.
11. Your Pet(s): Léo.
12. Who You Are Now: Changed.
13. Who You Want to be in Ten Years: Mother.
14. What You Want to be in Ten Years: Happy.
15. What You're Not: Weak.
16. Your Best Friend: Husband.
17. One of Your Wish list Items: Closure.
18. Your Gender: Woman.
19. The Last Thing You Did: Blogged.
20. What You Are Wearing: Hoodie.
21. Your Favorite Weather: Sunny.
22. Your Favorite Book: Siddhartha.
23. The Last Thing You Ate: Sorbet.
24. Your Life: LOVE.
25. Your Mood: Gentle.

From my friend, Cindy...

Art is free therapy

A friend wrote this to me a couple days ago and I have to whole heartily agree.  I had been contemplating therapy and in past entries have talked about my feelings on therapy and have tried it.  I think therapy in any nature helps us to better ourselves.  Growing up, tennis was a sort of therapy for me. It was a way for me to deal with my body issues and to work out stress, it turned out that I was pretty good so it was a confidence booster, too.  As I got older, I found other ways to create to bring myself a sense of self ease.  Tae Kwon Do. Photography. Mixing. Knitting. Being creative has been a savior for me these last few months.  After my mom passed away, I was so scared that I wouldn't pick up knitting again.  It pained me to look at the all of my mother's knitting needles and for weeks I tried to forget knitting.  Then one day, my brother asked me to make her something and I felt this sort of pressure in my mind ease away as I tried to work through that knitting project.  Time seems to stand still.  My friend, Cindy, also said that art hits a part of your brain that takes you away from the logical side of your mind. That there is a feeling that you don't know how much time has passed.  Thinking about this, I see myself obsessively knitting on the couch at 2am as I'm thinking just a couple more rows not even aware of what time it is.  And recently while making earrings or sketching out skirts I'd like to sew myself, it's already past noon and I've been up since 7am.  Being creative.  I like to say the words. Be creative.  I feel a sense of confidence rising in me when I create something. Even sitting here writing this blog entry, I feel my collar bone tingle and my toes feel warm as the morning air brushes them. The creative juices are flowing through every inch of my being and I love how this feels.   

I couldn't sleep this morning because I was laying awake in bed thinking about what I could be making right at that moment.  Is there a correlation between early morning hours and creativity? I feel less creative at night, except for knitting, something about the natural sunlight feeding my need to create.

Here's the window that's by my computer desk. Cracked ever so slightly to let in the freshness of the morning air.

It's 7:19 am and I am feeling too creative to sleep

And my computer desk is doubling as my creative space. My husband has pretty much called this my desk now that all my things are on it...

What's on my desk this morning?

I know that I still have a long way to go. It's all about keeping the balance and I've found something to help me along the way.


Finding a balance these days...

I feel the shift happening in my emotional state of mind.  I feel less suffocated by my emotions and feel like I have a better grip on the state of my being.  I take a deep breath as I type this because it feels really good to see the words on the screen.  I don't think one ever gets over the death of a loved one, especially a daughter who loses her mother.  This will be something that I will carry with me for the rest of my life. It's like an invisible pin on my heart to remind me that I have passed an important stage in my life.  I miss her.  I think about her all the time but I'm not gasping for air as the thoughts over come me like I did just a few weeks ago. Instead, I smile and feel a warmth in my heart and I know that's she's there. 

My dreams have been rather strange lately. Very hard to remember most times but when I awake I feel like I've been blessed.  I feel my husband wake in the morning and kiss my wrist before he leaves the bed and I drift into a state of sleepiness and security.

I often wonder if there is life after death, how does one really know what is waiting for us beyond the life we live?  I'm not a religious person but I feel like I am a very spiritual person all the same.  The concept of heaven and hell isn't strange to me but at the same time I can't imagine either one.   

People ask how I'm doing and I respond that I'm hanging in there.  I'm here. I'm alive and have a lot of love to give.  I feel like starting very soon my life will be turning around and I will be headed towards what I imagined my life would be.  I am so grateful for my family, the wonderful friends I have here in Paris and my darling husband.  The candles you guys have held for me along the long, long tunnel have helped immensely, I see the light and I'm skipping in my converse all stars all the way to the end!

March 18, 2006 - 18:36

March 18, 2006 - 18:36
Originally uploaded by Hugo (looking for his pink elephant).

Violent anti-CPE demonstrations at Place de la Nation today. These demonstrations are in response to the law supported by France's Prime Minister, Dominique de Villepinte to form a two year employment contract for the CPE or First Employment Contract stating that anyone hired under the age of 26 can be let go at anytime after the end of their second year work without any justification whatsoever.  Most of France's universities students are on strike to protest this law. March 18th was a national day to demonstrate against the CPE law.

The French youth have succumbed to violent outbreaks in response to the overwhelmingly high unemployment rate within the 18-25 year old age bracket. 

This photo was taken by a friend today at Place de la Nation, not far from where we live.

Welcome to the club...

J's birthday celebration went off without a hitch. I made quiches (for the first time!) and birthday cakes (for the first time!) and all was eaten, no random open bottles of champagne left over, a serious game of Caps (drinking game where you knock off your adversaries beer cap) and only one vomitter (the loser of the Caps game).   All in all, a very fun party. A happy melange of Anglos and Frenchies, high paced debates and questions on how we've all met. The familiar big eyes when realizing that we can speak French , egos put aside and in the end everyone has a really, good time.   A French friend asked to me upon leaving if we had soirees like this often and that if so he'd love to come again. He said he hadn't had so much cultural exposure in a very long time and it was very refreshing. We elephants* sure do know how to have fun at a party.

After it was all over and it was just J and I. We sat in the middle of our semi-wrecked apt and smiled.  early everyone we care about in our lives came to J's party.  "Our life is fun, huh?" I asked.  "Yeah, extraordinaire", he replied. Thinking about everyone that came really makes me cherish how special my life is here in France.  I have such great opportunities ahead of me and wonderful people in my life. I really feel grateful for what I have.  I feel like I've been admitted to this club that I never had admission to before. Things in my life never felt so sure as they do today. 

So, my husband's official verdict on being 30? Pal mal!  If you know J, you know this is a good thing.



*J misunderstanding anglophone for elephant, so we are now baptized the elephants. :)

Long Weekend

This past weekend was a very eventful weekend for J and I.  We celebrated our 4 year wedding anniversary and J turned 30.  We giggled all weekend, reminiscing about the first time we met. What we were wearing. What we were thinking.  Talking about it with him made it feel like it just happened yesterday.  It's amazing how certain memories remain so clear in your mind.  4 years of marriage. It's been a fruitful 4 years for J and I. We're really learned a lot about ourselves and each other.  I feel like we're officially over that hump of being newlyweds and all the stress that comes along with that.  We really have learned to enjoy each other company to the fullest.  And the passion is still there, if not stronger than it ever was.  J and I have realized what it takes to make a marriage work and we're really blown away at how amazing our vie commune really is.  We're designing our future life projects together, talking about forming a family, we're communicating our emotions more openly and really understanding one another.  I didn't know marriage could be so fulfilling.

It's amazing the transformation I've seen in my husband over the last couple weeks. As he approached his 30th year, I could see pangs of anxiety hit him, he'd mostly laugh them off but I knew he was really thinking about it and what it meant to be turning 30.  He's told me that it's like a new chapter in his life is opening and I don't want to say that  he's scared of what's to come but I can see that he's really anxious to know what his 30's will be like. I must admit that I'm curious too...