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

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!

5 tips for Lonely People

 

Lonely people have always existed, and in the past few years I have found myself to be a part of this category.

Now, lonely and alone don’t mean the same thing. You can be alone and lonely, but you can also be surrounded by people and still be lonely. Alone depends on the number of people around you. Lonely is its own little monster. It shows up, drags you down, and makes you feel all alone in the world behind the fake smile no one seems to see through.

Being alone is lovely. You get to think, listen to music and dance in your underwear, watch a great movie and eat all the pop corn by yourself (#NoShame), read an enthralling book (in one go) and no one bothers you.

Lonely sucks.

 

So since I appear to have gotten a master’s degree in loneliness, here are my top tips to be comfortably lonely.

 

Tip #1 : Go to a coffee shop. Not an industrial one like Starbucks. Scout the city, find a place where people aren’t in a rush. Take your time ordering a drink, ask the barista what he recommends, find something you haven’t tried before. Sit at a comfortable in the corner and people watch. Observe and invent people’s life. Smile at them, then pretend you’re busy so he/she doesn’t think you’re a stalker (unless you are, which is another issue entirely). Bring a journal and write your feels in there. Leave it for someone to find. Listen to music way to loudly and have no shame, mouth the lyrics and shuffle in your seat. Hum for a while, with various speeds and rhythm. I promise you can cheer yourself up. Just get out of the house, befriend the barista and entertain yourself around other people. The little interactions are like an aspirin against a headache. They almost always work.

 

Tip #2: Train for an athletic event. Anyone can train for a marathon, or a triathlon, or a race. A race is basically a little marathon, it’s only 10km, which you can walk if you feel like it. Why does it help? Because endorphins are great to give you a high and make you feel happy. But also because having an athletic goal gets you out of the house. Run a little, run a lot, walk around if you want, put on some music and move. It takes away a good chunk of time you would be spending feeling lonely. Exercise, in any form, takes time and makes you feel like you are accomplishing something, like you are working towards something. Not to mention the day of the event, where you get to meet great people (don’t take your headphones, I swear you can talk to anyone at a race), have free food and drink (and sometimes massages). For a day, you’re not lonely, because there are hundreds or thousands of people who trained for the exact same thing. You are a part of a group. For a day, sure, but maybe you’ll make friends for life? Encourage people, wave at the people on the sidelines and randomly yell at someone that his/her costume is amazing (there always are people in costumes cheering you up). Those events are all year long and perfect to shake off the lonely monster from your shoulder. After all, you’re running faster than him.

 

Tip #3: Bake the shit out of every complicated recipe you’ve seen on Bake Off. Watch food networks, find a really complicated recipe that looks delicious and spend hours trying to make it as perfect as the recipe. Put music, your favourite apron (go buy a favourite apron if you don’t have one) and destroy your kitchen floor like it’s nobody’s business. The messier, the better. Eat the raw batter, use fancy kitchen instruments like dinosaur cookie cutters to cut your eggplant or your sweet potatoe… or your cookies.

Don’t clean it right away. Sit down and eat the food while it’s hot in front of your favourite TV show.

 

Tip #4: Concerts. Go to concerts or festivals by yourself. If you’re ashamed to say you went alone, say that you lost your friends in the crowd. But frankly, if you tell it like it is, chances are you’ll get invited to a party or to share a beer with a bunch of people you don’t know. Feeling shy? You’re all here for a singer. Talk about a conversation starter, you all like the same person. Done. Conversation starter. If that doesn’t happen, go in the centre of all the fun and jump and sing with everyone. However, don’t drink people’s drink. Take care of yourself.

 

Tip #5: If one evening you feel very lonely, go get this book you’ve been meaning to read but haven’t. Put on some calm music like The Civil Wars, settle down with a cup of tea/coffee/wine and read all evening until your eyes start to close by themselves. Give in. Don’t even brush your teeth, no one will know. Don’t forget, books are temporary friends forever. They won’t replace the real thing, but they’ll do the trick for a little while.

 

However, if you feel lonely, I hope it’s only for a little while.

Take care

Plane Ritual (Self-care #2)

Flying is easy.

Staying hydrated throughout the flight? Not so much.

For those who fly out a lot and get dry skin, pimples or dark circles under your eyes, think no further. Planes have oxygen. They fly. In a sky where the oxygen is either non-existent, or where there is very little. Hint, that is why the windows don’t open. That, along with, perhaps, the deathly cold you would catch at a few thousand feet. Hence, the oxygen we breathe is constantly recycled, and if you fly for long distances at a time, the air gets saturated with other people’s things (think hair cells, skin cells, etc) that you breathe in, and that your skin absorbs. The water content of the air up high isn’t so great, which is often why you will feel thristy and dehydrated. In first and business class, they will generally offer you a hand cream and a body lotion to hydrate your body while flying long distance. But the creams are not necessarily what your body needs.

Indeed, we all have different skin, and I am sure you all own your own face cream, body lotion and hand cream that you swear by, and that you would never ever think about changing. That is great. Now, go into any store (Primark, Sainsburys, Tesco, Auchan, Wallmart, etc) and buy small containers that are plane friendly. Pour your favourite product into the container and bring it in the air with you.

Now, I’m about to share my little plane routine. Yes, you will look silly. Yes, people might stare. Right after they will shrug and go back to their lives. Why? Because in a plane, no one cares what you look like.

1) Remove all your makeup. You are in a plane. You do not need makeup. What you need to do is let your skin breathe so that it will not break into pimple land two days after you land. Makeup blocks out your pores, fills them. In the plane, you will add to that layer the extra not-so-fresh-oxygen and your skin will not thank you for it. Remove it all. No one cares.

2) Prep your skin. Once you’ve settled in, get ready to pamper yourself. We often forget to pamper ourselves at home because, well, we don’t have time. Or the energy. You are sitting on a plane. There is literally nothing better to do than self-care. So get yourself one of those cleansing facial wipes (I use Simple, but any will do) or, if you are lucky enough to be given a warm towel, use it. Wipe your face from the excess oil, pollution and what not. Feel that? It’s your skin thanking you.

3)Use a heavy mosturizer and slap it on your face. I use cocoa butter or shea butter or coconut oil. Anything natural (usually sold by Nature et Découvertes) that I have on hand (I switch every now and then) I will lather on. Heavily. Let it sit while your perform task 4.

4) Buy yourself one of those facial masks. They sell those at Sephora or in the big stores like Carrefour, Spinneys, and any body shop you know of. Put it on and live your life. I personnally will take a long nap with it, or watch a movie, read a book. I strongly suggest going to the bathroom before. You can walk around the plane with it, but it will look strange. Note, it is still all right. Again, it doesn’t matter what other people think. If they think anything at all. They probably are busy with their own business. Just like you.

Sephora face masks

Sephora face masks

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5) Calm down. Nap, do breathing exercises, meditate if you’re able. How many times a week do you take me-time? Take it all now. Think about the fact that you are suspended in the air like a bird who doesn’t have any wings. It is pretty terrifying. Also thrilling. You’re in the sky! Wearing a face mask! And you don’t have to dread any skin rash! Breath-takingly amazing.

And then just take it off whenever you feel like it, mosturize again, and you will be ready for landing, with a fresh looking face, rested and clear. Your eyes will be significantly less bloodshot, your face won’t be as paper-thin to the touch, not to mention you will not feel like you travelled for hours!

Try it and tell me all about it!

The greatest way to wake up (Self-care #1)

Hot Lemon and Water has been my first year resolution for 2015, and I have not been decieved.

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I used to wake up and drink water, and then a green smoothie. I have recently realized that the myth of the hot lemon and water is, in fact, truly beneficial for our bodies. I have personally felt the changes, the slow awakening of my body as I sipped the lemon tea. Unlike green smoothies, that I like to drink cold, hot lemon water actually allows my brain to accept the smoothie/breakfast much better if I give it a little time to produce its effects. The hot beverage wakes up my organs much better than a deadly cold green smoothie. And in winter, who doesn’t want a warm tea the warm up when you have to leave the comfort of your warm, warm bed?

I tend to add a little honey, although the taste isn’t as bitter as I would have thought initially.

I would definitely recommend adopting this reflex, it will make a world of difference in your morning routine!