What the recent attacks taught me.

Life  can end at any point.

Any time, any place.

I used to think that people died of diseases, or of old age. I assumed, but did not truly believe it. As a child, I remember stealing a knife from the kitchen and keeping it under my pillow. Just in case someone would barge in our house and try to kill everyone. Unlikely. But my imagination never let me forget. Especially at night. I grew up afraid of dying in my own home, killed somehow. But years passed, and as a young woman who takes care of my body and my mind, I swapped the knife for a rape alarm and a criminel identifier (old habits die hard), and went ahead assuming I would not die for a long time.

But then recently my home has been hit hard three times in the past year and a half, and people died at a concert. They died celebrating Bastille Day. They died writing a journal everyone reads.

And the fear came back in earnest.

I can die anywhere. Taking the RER. The metro. Dining at a brasserie. Going to a concert. Driving my car. Walking along a path. Going for a run. If the recent events have shown something, it’s that death can be anywhere and there is nothing you can do about it if you’re in its way.

So what now?

Do I stop doing everything so I can live a long, unfullfilled life? Do I cower in fear? Do I give up?

I think, all these deaths have provoked something in me. A want to live more. A need to be unafraid.

I spent a lot of time repressing my feelings, afraid I would get rejected, afraid it would do this or that… but kind words can never hurt anyone, and we should all spread more love to counteract the horrible, terrible things happening in our world. So what now?

What if you do get rejected? The worst that can happen is they say no, and you learn to move on. There is no bad scenario.

What if you aim too high and fall down hard? Again, as long as you breathe you can ajust your aim and try again and lower your expectations of instead aim even higher and keep falling until you succeed.

What if? What ifs are the bane of everyone’s existence. Many authors figured it out long ago: What ifs are evil.

“You’re worried about what-ifs. Well, what if you stopped worrying?”
― Shannon CelebiDriving Off Bridges

“Live your life without ever having to ask, ‘What if?”
― Ken Poirot

“You’ll never get anywhere if you go about what-iffing like that.”
― Roald DahlCharlie and the Great Glass Elevator                                                  
“Don’t think about what you could have done, concentrate on what you plan to do; it is more useful.”
― Brian JacquesMartin the Warrior

And so I have decided to strip myself from my fear.

What if I die today? What if someone does get inside my home? What if a guy decides to blow up in the same train I’m taking to go to the movies? What would my last thought be? What is the worst thought I could have in my last moments?

“Shit, I should’ve done that”. “Shit, I didn’t apologize about this”. “Shit, I forgot to say that”. 

We are all ashes and dust. This world is heavy and wonderful and dangerous. Fear nothing. Be fearless. Take everything the world gives you, for it will all take it back, eventually. Maybe tomorrow.

Make plans for the future, but also make plans for now. Tomorrow. Next week. The present is all that you have with absolute certainty. Make it count.

This is my 2016 Goal: Say the things I keep inside my head. Be simple. Be real. Don’t mess people around. I could be gone tomorrow, and the last thought I want to have is “Well, at least I’ve done good things. Well, at least I’ve told NoName about my feels. Well, at least I didn’t keep fighting with my parents. Well, at least I kept putting efforts into all the people who mattered in my life.”a0dff2ddb82b9017d064b80545a0f1bd

This is what I want. To be able to die at any moment and have the least regret I can.

It’s a journey. But I am willing to give it a go. For the time I have left, no matter how long, I want to make it count.

Love,

Marion

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The nicecream obsession (Foodie #1)

Ah, yes, I do love a big bowl of nicecream.

What is nicecream, I hear you ask? It is a trend/breakfast/lunch/dinner that is both healthy, filling and delicious. I have been having it everyday for two months. And I am starting to get bored, but mostly because I have tried every combo I could possibly think of. I will stick to green juice for a while and I am sure the crave for a nice bowl of nicecream will come back in time.

I want to discuss nicecream, however, because it is esthetically pleasing to the eye and makes my stomach feel good. Hopefully yours will, too.

Here is how you do it: You freeze bananas. You blend bananas (in a high speed blender, a food processor, whatever works for you. I have invested in a high speed blender, but I also used to manage a fair blend in a poor food processor, as long as I cut my bananas quite small and stay patient).

Blend the bananas, as I was saying….

With ANYTHING.

 

Why should I start my day with bananas?

-The potassium in them will help lower your blood pressure. The fibre in them will be fantastic to prevent that stroke you might worry about. And will also make you go to the bathroom. Clean that intestine, you know.

-The bacteria in them will enable your gut to actually absorb nutrients (such as calcium, which you won’t find in milk. Do not drink milk).

-Fruits are the best way to gently wake up your stomach as it possesses natural sugars that will give you energy and protect your stomach. Bananas in particular will release quick-release AND slow-release sugars in your system, so you’ll get an energy boost in the short AND long term. Talk about a fruit that keeps getting better.

That is all. I will let you discover for yourself what works best for you (cough-chocolate-cough).

Get blending, and speak later!

Love advice for couples

It is incredible the amount of information you can get by being here and being silent while someone vents to you about their problems. Don’t talk. Listen carefully. To the tone of their voice, the way their breathing speeds up when they get to the centre of the problem. Stay calm and listen.

By staying calm and listening, I became the person people came to in order to speak about their intimate problems.

And I think it is very important for me to share what I have learnt so far.

 

If you are in a couple:

 

If you feel the love, show the love.

Nothing and no one should ever be taken for granted. You probably never should take anything for granted, but that applies even more so for a human being you love. Granted means forgetting. Forgetting that they have a right to leave you, that they have a right to feel sad you don’t show affection as you used to, that they are not just another object in your house that you get to talk to or use sometimes and put in corner when you’re busy.

Most people thrive on affection. Little gestures can make someone’s day. A brush on a hand on your lover’s back, a smile and a kiss, holding hands, sharing a private joke, throw cake batter at each other, wake them up with breakfast, whatever tickles your fancy.

Show the love, dammit! If you’re lucky enough to love and be loved in return, hold that knowledge and cherish that person every time you get the chance. Finding love isn’t a given. It’s a chance. Be grateful.

 

If you feel the love, talk it out.

A couple can never work without words. Words are the cement holding the bricks of your story. Tell you partner you love them, but also tell them when they’re being stupid or unhelpful.

The reverse is also true: listen to your partner’s voice. It’s not just background noise. If your partner seeks you out to talk something out, it probably means they’ve been holding it in for while. Take five, sit down, listen, and come to a compromise or a solution. This is the person you love. You can, and should take time to work out things that may not be working. And perhaps you didn’t notice some things weren’t working. That’s okay. Most things can be fixed if worked on.

 

If you feel the love, work on it.

Imagine your love as a garden. No garden has ever thrived on being left alone. What happens to a garden when abandoned? It grows weed, , some plants you forgot to water die out, and you can end up with a jungle. Hard to make your way through a jungle without a machete and some serious determination. That doesn’t have to happen if you take care of it a little every day. Weed out of the weeds, trim the plants, water the roses. Work on your couple. That can mean various things for various couples, but as long as you take care of each other, compromise without losing yourself in the process, then there is a solution.

 

If you feel the love, feel the love.

You can love someone and not be in love with them. You can start by being in love and fall out of love. You can love someone fiercely and not be in love with them. That’s okay. Analyse yourself. Do you love them? Do you really love them? Or are you with them for all the wrong reasons? Because it’s comfortable, you’ve been with them for a long time, because you’re scared of being alone, because you have kids, because you feel like you’re not worth anything if they don’t love you, because you know nothing else… Be sure you love them for them, because they make you want to better yourself, because you love them more or as much as you love yourself.

 

If you feel the love, don’t change yourself.

If you love someone, don’t change for them. They should fall in love with you, and you should fall in love with them as they are. Some things will have to change to accommodate your life together, but the price of a couple shouldn’t be the loss of one of your partner or your own personality.

 

But the most important thing is, if you feel the love, make sure you love yourself when you’re with them.

You are the one person you will have to live with for the rest of your life. No one else is a fixture in your life but yourself. Make sure you can look at yourself in the mirror and think “I’m enough all by myself, and I love myself”. If you can say this and love someone else just as much, put a smile on your face and keep it on. Go gardening and smell the flowers.

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