Finding Home – Marion Szuflak


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.



Book of the Month: ‘Poussière d’homme’ (Books #1)

I was not meant to read this book. I stole it from my sister’s shelf in her bathroom. You know, that place where you put magazines, a Sudoku book with a pencil but not an earser (dammit!), books you read the back cover hundreds of time but never actually start?

The title drew me in. I opened a random page, and poetry jumped at me. So I stole it, and started reading it on the RER on my way back to England. I had to stop.

This book could not be read on the train. This book had to be read in a place where I would be able to break down fearlessly.Capture d’écran 2016-05-16 à 18.33.43

So I landed, sat in my bed in a comfy shirt, with a cup of tea, and read it in one go. It is quite a short read, only a few hours, as the book is only about a hundred pages.

Now, if you know me, you know I hate France. I refuse to read in French unless it was originally written in French, I refuse to watch translated movies because, well, I have a weird aversion for anything French.


This book may have been my way back.

The poetry in the sentences, the way the story begins with the end and draws us back to the beggining, the fact that it was a biography of sorts and not an invention made it so much more powerful for me.

This book packs a punch and will leave you crying on the floor and depressed for a few days. Which is why you shoud read it. Because it makes you FEEL so much. I love feeling things through words, because those words were felt, written, and the feelings somehow travel in the book and punches you in the face when you open the book.

What is the story? Well, you know you’re in for a ride when you realise that page 1 tells you that the main character has lost his precious person. And then proceeds to take you through their first encounter, all the way to his lover’s last breath.

Now, I am not partial cancer stories, as they are often overdone and do not feel ‘real’ but ‘made’ for the reader.

The fact that David Lelait is the main character, and that everything he says are words he wrote while the story was happening to him made it special. And the poetry, ah, the poetry.

I cannot stay away from a well-written work of art.

And neither should you.


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….



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

The annoying vegans

It is so easy to close your eyes and imagine a perfect universe.

The fact is, you can create what you wish to see, and let yourself play make belief, but people will are always here to rain on your parade.

Today, those people are vegans.

Vegans are the worst.

They will nag at you and tell you all about the horrifying conditions of animals in our society whether other people want to hear it or not, and God, will they ever stop talking about animals?


I am a vegan.

I learn everyday more and more about the industry and the terrible things that we use animals for, and these are a few reasons why we can’t seem to stop talking about it.


  1. Die. Everyday, millions of animals (MILLIONS!!!!) die a horrible death. Each year, humans are responsible for 150 000 000 000 of deaths. That’s 5 000 sentient beings killed each time you take a breath. The argument against is that humans need animals to die for us to live.
    The truth is, we shouldn’t be alive. At least not to this extent. We used to make 2% of the population on Earth while animals used to make 98%. We have managed tor reverse it so that animals make 2% and we make the rest. Where are they all? Where are the 96% animals that should be somewhere on Earth? They’re dead. The proper term is extinct. Everyday we endanger dozens of species and every day two species disappear (read: kill). If we need meat to live, then we certainly don’t need as much as we are raising. But mostly, we don’t need meat to live a healthy, happy life. We’re just used to it. Throw in potatoes, meat and done, you’ve got yourself a meal. It’s easy. Convenient. Killing animals is convenient. However, a cow escapes from a slaughterhouse and watch as hundreds of people cry for justice, for the cow to be left alone. Isn’t that a little ironic? So, as long as you don’t see the walking dead, you don’t care how they end up on your plate?

( )


  1. It doesn’t do your health any good. Eating meat or dairy isn’t the way to go if you want to stay healthy. Ideally, 12oz of dairy is the amount a week that you should be consuming, if any at all. That’s a 1/3-cup. It doesn’t help with osteoporosis, on the contrary. The less dairy you eat, the better your bones will feel. It raises your IGF-1, which has been known to cause cancer. It’s also not a coincidence that 75% of people worldwide are lactose intolerant. They’re not intolerant, they’re normal. Dairy is fatty, full of cholesterol, and it doesn’t belong to you. It belongs to a baby calf meant to grow to a full size cow. No dairy product is meant to help a kid grow into an adult. A baby cow is three times to size of a baby!


  1. They’re used for testing. Animals are shaved, prodded, cut open and then thrown into a pile of dead bodies after unsuccessful trials. Just a list of things tested on animals or have animal products : Plastic bags, tires, glue in musical instruments, fireworks, fabric softener, toothpaste, shampoo, conditionner, white sugar, post-it notes, condoms, Mars bars, pet food, contact lenses, diapers, and many other things. Some of the reasons vegans are upset is because we do not need to use animals for some (read: any) tests made to “help” humans. The thing is, these animals aren’t ours to take, kill or breed. They’re there for their own reasons.  ( )


  1. Some people assume that being human is a good enough reason to mass murder. But some also assume that some species are better than others. When asked, lots of people will tell you they find it unacceptable to test on chimps, but will find it perfectly acceptable to test on mice. The different is nowhere to be found. Mice are as valuable as chimps. They breathe, feel pain, and shouldn’t be tested on. Period. Why would a species be more important than another? Why is it acceptable? Isn’t it the same as saying you can’t rape a child but can rape an adult because of what they were wearing? Aren’t both as important? Isn’t it unacceptable in both cases? So because of a height difference the situation can be adapted? No.


  1. You can create fake wool, fake meat, fake egg, fake EVERYTHING. Vegans don’t miss much because we can find everything that you guys eat without the added death, carbon print, suffering and destruction of our planet. We do it for the animals, the environnement, many reasons. Why don’t you? Because it’s tasty? Because dead tissue is Yummy?


  1. It is unnecessary. You don’t love meat. Unless you eat meat raw, as it is, with the blood and guts, you don’t love meat in its natural state. How can it be natural for us to eat it if we can’t bear the raw taste of it? My guess is because they were never intended for us. Reach up, reach down, they are so many options of fruits, veggies, and even now vegan meat, milk, cheese, whatever your heart desires. You don’t need to kill animals to get your fix.


  1. Cows get raped, their kids get ripped away from you. Piglets are castrated. Chickens get their beaks cut. Male chicks get ground alive because they don’t matter. It goes on and on. All is done without anesthetics.


  1. We do enough destroying each other, why do we need to include animals in our path?


  1. We destroy the environnement, the best places on Earth, the lung of the planet, to grow feed for factory farms.


  1. Animals have no voices, but they have a capacity to feel pain. We can be their voice. We have to be.


  1. I used to get it. I don’t anymore.


But that isn’t even the only problem about veganism. The problem is that as you go, you gather information, you gather knowledge, you gather uncomfortable truths you try to tell other people about. And as you go, you are met with people who won’t listen, or care, or understand, or believe, and some of that you can’t do anything about. It brings you down and makes you angry, because you have the studies, the scientists, the knowledge with you, but sputter and cannot get the knowledge out as you get more and more uncomfortable because you understand, you can’t change everyone.

You can change a few, maybe. But you can’t change everyone.

And I can’t speak for everyone, but I cannot stop talking about veganism because I am outraged, and I want everyone to be on my side. Who doesn’t want to have everyone on their side?

I guess, I’m just trying to make the world a better place.

A place where we don’t kill, we don’t destroy.

A place where I can wake up and think,

“Maybe, someday, I’ll have children. I’ll show them the glaciers, the green grass, the Amazonian forest, the rhinos, the lions and other animals we didn’t exterminate in our quest for more more more more, and I’ll say, ‘Kids, this is our planet’, and be proud.”



This version of ‘Take Me to Church’ also settles whether ballet is a sport

This amazing piece is clearly demonstrative of the strength required to be a great ballet dancer. I applaud him!

For The Win

If you needed any more proof that ballet is a serious sport, look no further than Sergei Polunin’s improvised dance to Hozier’s “Take Me To Church,” directed by David LaChapelle.

(Thanks to The Daily Dot for sharing.)

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The Frozen Feminist power and The Elsa Project

After seeing Frozen (Disney) for the very first time, me and a thousand other girls could only think two things:

1) (Spoilers) How could Hans do that? The hair on the back of our necks tingled with hatred passion, and we were all so glad that Disney finally took on the task of portraying realistic evil men in their story. A nice, good-looking man looking for… love? Not exactly. Mental abuse and excess of power? More like it. Made you think about anyone you know? Yes? Perhaps because this was the first real depiction of mean people. Not a witch, not a bear, just a normal, bad human. Those run around a lot these days. And Hans was defeated by what… a girl? Speechless. Wave your feminist flags everyone, girls are rising to power. Can we sense the word equality in the air? Not yet, but we are making progress. This is what all little girls should be striving for, feeling enpowered by themselves and not by someone who can take away their worth in the snap of a finger. Not by sleeping in hopes a guy (who they’ve barely met) will come around and save the day with his manly strength. We work out, too. We’ve got strength.

And if Frozen taught me one thing about rejection, it’s that it’s neither the end of the world, nor is it a big deal. Sure, it stings, but in the end, you’re better off with someone who doesn’t say things like “if only there were someone out there who loved you”. Yes, Hans is not the greastest villain, he doesn’t have a great entrance, or a real evil song (but then again, no one can compete against Scar or Frolo’s solos), or a true evil plan than stand a chance. But he is an old butt. And he hurts a woman just because he can. Ring a bell? How about you turn on the TV and have a look at the state of things around the world. We got the short end of the stick here. But hey, we’re all about improving and following the path of… true love? Okay, Disney, you did not change that much. But it’s on the right track. Family drama, that’s what it’s all about.

2) How fast can I learn to create Elsa’s hairstyle? In my family, hair is an important topic. It needs to look good, all the time. Why? Because, well, we have the chance to have hair. And also, hair is amazing and can completely upgrade your look. My sister asked me if I could recreate the hair, and I thought, yes, I can probably do just that. So I did, and these are the result. I made several tries on my sister’s hair and mine, and came up with different results as her hair are dyed and shorted than mine.

This, everyone, is my twist on Elsa’s hairstyle. If anyone wants a demo or a step-by-step, I can make this happen. Just comment below and I will do my best.

I did this hairdo on my sister's head for Christmas 2014, inspired by Elsa's bun in Frozen (Disney)

Elsa's twist 2

Elsa’s twist 2

Elsa's twist 3

Elsa’s twist 3

Elsa's twist 3

Elsa’s twist 4

As you can probably tell, my sister’s picture is so much better because I could take the picture from far away. Living by myself makes my task more challenging. But who doesn’t like a challenge?

Anyway, that’s it for this one, hope you enjoyed it!