Foriegn Affairs

Exister, c'est oser se jeter dans le monde.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Inspired by Edward Hopper (Automat)

 In her haste to escape the pouring rain, she ran into this coffee shop, almost closed for the night. The aroma of coffee beans coats the air like a warm hug, enveloping her with much needed shelter from the storm. As the brass bell chimes to signal to the cashier that a customer has entered, calm floods her body. Even though she hasn't been to this shop before, something makes her feel right at home. The cashier enters from the back room, dressed in a white shirt speckled with coffee residue and a plain, black apron.
She quickly scans the menu, looking for familiar territory on the extensive list of expensive brews, exotic chai teas, and specialty pastries. Finding the familiar order of a plain cup of coffee, she pays with three shiny quarters and moves to an open table, where she finds herself the only guest in the late hour. Still shivering from the spring storm, she greets the cashier with an appreciate smile and accepts the warm cup of coffee he brings to her table, party of one. She removes one fur-lined glove and drops three sugars into her dark coffee. As she sips, she can hear the rain pounding against the glass windows while the radiator desperately splutters to try and heat the shop. Leaning back against the wooden chair, she sighs with relief.
Her job is a difficult one. A nine to five, six days a week. As secretary to a prominent business man, she must always be mindful of how she looks and acts. Only in the quiet, stormy nights like these can she find solace and be herself without the smile and the clothes.
Closing her eyes, she drinks the last of her cup. Standing up, she grabs a crumpled dollar from her handbag and drops it on the teal linoleum table. Her chair scrapes the tiled floor as she pushes it in, getting ready to leave. The cashier looks from where he is cleaning up for the night and gives a slight nod. Walking across the shop, she grabs the door and is greeted by that same bell and more rain. As she hails a taxi, she realizes that she forgot her glove. Looking back at the cafe, all the lights are turned off. Only the facade of the building is lit by the fading streetlights. Not recognizing the cafe, she almost thinks that she imagined the night, the only evidence being her missing glove.
Finally, a yellow taxi pulls up to the curb, rescuing her from the rain.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Milk and Honey

My friend and I have found an author of poems (is that a thing?) that we both love. Thanks to Pinterest, we both have discovered an individual that explains what we believe in.
I think that at one point or another, our souls all need healing. If it's from a breakup, a loss, or just the wear and tear of everyday, we need something positive in our lives to be our remedy. For many, that might be a person, place, or even a warm, cuddly quilt. 
For me, when I feel like I'm just going through the motions. I just STOP. I grab my brown and cream qua trefoil blanket, a book, and my white Tonkenese cat. However, I've now found this book of poems and short thoughts, Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur. To learn more about her, click here and to her personal site, click here.

This book is described on B&N:
"milk and honey is a collection of poetry and prose about survival. About the experience of violence, abuse, love, loss, and femininity. The book is divided into four chapters, and each chapter serves a different purpose. Deals with a different pain. Heals a different heartache. milk and honey takes readers through a journey of the most bitter moments in life and finds sweetness in them because there is sweetness everywhere if you are just willing to look."

I love that last part about sweetness everywhere. Too often we, myself included, tend to dwell on the negative and what has gone wrong instead of what has gone right. In the most unexpected places is where we find our joy and happiness.
My milk and honey is a little gold ring with a flower made of black stones. It is from my great-grandmother, and to me it reminds me of her story. She didn't have much. She worked for what she had. Every time I slip on this precious ring, it's like a personal salve to my own heart.  Since she's gone, I always imagine where she was when she was wearing the ring, what she did and saw. 

What is your milk and honey?


Monday, January 25, 2016

My Imitation Game

One of my favorite movies of all time that I've recently discovered is The Imitation Game. A quote from that movie that hit me hard was what  Alan Turing says to Joane Clark after she thinks she can't work for him because she's a woman.

At the time, woman were seen as inferior, bodies with no minds. Likewise, Alan was an outcast because he had too much brain. This got me thinking of all the negativity in the world. Many tell the young, the dreamers, that they won't be capable of anything. That blazing new trails won't amount to anything. I can say personally that this has happened to me . An Algebra II teacher told me not to continue higher levels of math because I was already "in over my head," and that I wouldn't be able to go further. She wrote me off without a second glance. 
Who knew that in a year, I would be going on to Statistics, getting Advanced on standardized tests...
How many people do we, maybe offhandedly write off, say that they aren't able to go the distance, do things that we can't wrap our minds around. We hear of all the underdog stories and wonder why that can't happen to us or why those events only seem to happen once in a blue moon.
I can tell you the difference.
They have heart. Now, I know that seems like a cliche, but it's not. I think today, we get too discouraged to continue to persevere when trouble and obstacles arise. The ability to stick through trials is almost an anomaly. 
We should honor the individuals who are dreamers and doers, who don't stop for the world's approval. How can we honor them?
It's simple. Blaze your own trails.

Until next time,


Thursday, January 21, 2016

The Gift of the Magi {Revisited}

Today I did a lot of thinking about thinking about others. My favorite short story of all time has to be The Gift of the Magi. For those who are unfamiliar with the story, it's basically about a young, poor couple who sacrifices what they deem as their "greatest possession" to give the other something they can only dream of receiving. 
This story used to frustrate me. I never understood why they didn't tell each other what they were planning, or why universe wanted to come up with these "star-crossed" gifts. 

But then I saw the bigger meaning.

In today's society, I don't see many of us giving or sacrificing of ourselves. Many times we give when it is convenient or when there is a social or economic deal on the table of success. Instead of highlighting those who serve in the shadows, we give praise to the fame junkies, the lime-light lovers. I wonder at what point we start to serve from the heart, to give freely without holding anything back and at times when it might not even work to our benefit.
Someone who has shown me this is my mother. She is the first to give up time, something I consider synonymous with love. When I need a cheerleader, she's there. Workout partner, athletic trainer, counselor, taxi driver, doctor....
As the great Maya Angelou once said, "I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, put people will never forget how you made them feel."

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Finding Something New in the Old

While I was looking for my whitening trays for my teeth, I found a really old scrapbook from when I was in middle school. It was super weird to see how the comments of "stay in contact with me" or "we'll face high school together" or even "nice to know you" have changed. I looked back on my section of the scrapbook where I put my dreams, and almost nothing matched up to my dreams now. Back then, I wanted to be a pro volleyball player, live in New York City, have a condo at Huntington Beach...
Back then, I didn't envision the people who came into my life and changed me, shaped me into loving the South and Maya Angelou and running. Who helped me learn life lessons, math, music, and relationships. Even today, I can look at all the people who I've formed relationships with and realize that I wouldn't have given them a second glance in the hallway six months ago.
I love that a human trait is to grow and change. I love how my favorite place isn't to shop at the LOFT anymore, but H&M, and that I don't like Land Rovers, but a Jeep Renegade. I'm in love with going to Austria and Colorado with t.mountains and rooming with my sister.
Today, using that scrapbook, I found a contact that I haven't talked to in about five years. Reaching out to them was strange at first, but I'm glad that I did. We talked a bit about our younger days and how we both went to parties and how we dressed... and I realized that time flies, and that we need to make the most out of it.
Au revoir,


Wednesday, January 6, 2016

A Beginning of a New Year {and new post}

Against my  better judgement, I decided to try a New Year's Resolution. Usually, I don't do one simply because I end up not following it through as soon as the middle of January! This year, however, I decided that I'm going to try this blogging thing. I don't know if anyone will see it or even care about my writing or thoughts on life, but I'm giving it a shot.
Something that made me think about making this my resolution is the cultural significance of the new year in France. In that country, they celebrate the new year the whole entire month. Weird, right? We also talked about not only making resolutions for the year but daily. This reminded me of the book I got for Christmas:
Each section is coded by a color based on your thoughts! Already I've started writing things down and honestly, it's almost therapeutic. I'm also not a huge journal writer, so I'm giving it a go! 
Until next time,