Getting to know Me again

One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned in my life, and one that I will now always remember, is that I can’t continually put my ideas and dreams on the back burner for someone else – no matter how much I love them. Don’t get me wrong, I understand that relationships are all about compromise, but there are some things that just shouldn’t be compromised. And the things that make you “you”, definitely shouldn’t.

Looking back, I’ve done this periodically throughout my life. I want to make my partner happy, and sometimes I didn’t think about what I wanted or what I enjoyed; but instead I hung out with “his” friends, went where “he” wanted to go, listened to “his” type of music, and did what “he” wanted to do in an effort to have a happy marriage. Soon enough I didn’t even recognize myself in the mirror.

This September marks the 5th anniversary of being single, again, following a 7-year marriage; and I have to tell you I am really enjoying getting to know ME again.

I’m writing. I’m traveling. I’m singing. I’m hanging out with MY friends again. I’m doing all those things I neglected.

In listening to this beautiful song by Mandy Moore, it seems she has been guilty of this as well.  She and Chantal Kreviazuk wrote this incredible song about taking the time to get to know yourself again. You can really hear the emotion in her voice.

Take a listen – you won’t be disappointed.  I’ve also posted the lyrics below.

Gardenia
Well, I put so much thought into getting ready
Now I know that was the best part
It’s so easy to get caught up in what I’m regretting
Forget what I got from a wounded heart

I’m the one who likes Gardenia
I’m the one who likes to make love on the floor
I don’t want to hang up the phone yet
It’s been good
Getting to know me more

I’ve been seeing all my old friends in the city
Walking alone in Central Park
Doing all the things that I’ve neglected
Traded ’em all in
To be in your arms

I’m the one who likes Gardenia
I’m the one who likes to make love on the floor
I don’t want to hang up the phone yet
It’s been good
Getting to know me more

Well, I hear my own voice
Sounds so silly
Keep on telling my story all around
Everything I lost seems so different
Well, this is how everybody gets found

Fake it ’til you make it!

Pain au Chocolat

Pain au Chocolat

We’ve all heard the expression “Fake it ’til you make it!” and that’s what I intend to do – live like I’m living in France, until I can make the move.

For me, the French/European lifestyle is all about working to live, and not living to work.  Taking time to enjoy life’s pleasures. Being an artist. A writer. Dining outside. 

Parisian Cafe

Parisian Cafe

When I’m in Europe, I take the train to visit different cities. I walk more. I eat bread (*gasp*). Spend hours, sometimes entire days in Museums AND Cafés. Drink Champagne. Enjoy Crêpes and Pain au Chocolat (chocolate croissants)  – a lot! So why not do this now?

Nutella and Banana Crepe

Before I leave for my French Adventure, I plan on doing the following things right here in the Good Ole U.S.of A.:

1. Take the train to another State (perhaps Denverto visit my bestie Heidi; or Chicagoto visit my brother; or just maybe travel to a city I’ve never visited).
2. Finish my novel.
3. Relax in the park with a loaf of French bread, a bottle of wine and a good book.
4. Start drawing /painting again.
5. Enjoy the local museums and galleries.
6. Dine outside as much as possible.
7. Host a French Dinner & Movie Night –  complete with French music, a French film, Champagne, Hors d’oeuvres and Crêpes!
8. Speak French daily.
9. Cook French cuisine.
10. Sit in a local coffee-house for hours and people watch.

I better get started tout de suite!

This post is also posted in my new blog: The France Project 

Midnight In Paris – Just What the Doctor Ordered

Theatrical release poster

Yesterday afternoon my sister and I met up to see Woody Allen’s latest film. I hadn’t even seen a trailer, but a friend who knows of my love affair with Paris recommended the film. I only had to hear the name “Midnight in Paris” to know there was no doubt I’d see this movie – even though I’m not usually a huge Woody Allen fan.

For me, the movie was exactly what I needed on a hot summer’s afternoon. It’s a charming story about a Hollywood screenwriter, aspiring to publish his first novel, all the while wishing he lived in another time and place – the Golden Age in Paris.

This whimsical story had everything I loved; it was set in Paris, it brought to life some of my favorite writers, artists and musicians, and many scenes take place in the 1920’s.

I audibly sighed as the cinematographer highlighted one Paris attraction after the next; laughed aloud at many of the witty lines; and cringed at the negative dialogue of the supporting characters who weren’t so intrigued with Paris.  Like the main character Gil, I also love Paris at night, with all the monuments lit up perfectly, with the special glow that only Paris has. It’s quite apparent that Woody Allen has a love affair with Paris, too.

This movie premiered at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival in May, and stars Owen Wilson, Marion Cotillard, Rachel McAdams, Kathy Bates, Carla Bruni and Adrien Brody. I just found out that the part of Cole Porter was played by French actor Yves Heck, but the voice and piano we hear are actually Conal Fowkes, with the Woody Allen Band. (http://www.davisfowkes.com/)  It was wonderful to hear the sounds of Cole Porter, with such delightful songs as You Do Something To Me, Let’s Do It and You’ve Got That Thing.

I think Tom Long of the Detroit News said it perfectly in his review: “Midnight in Paris is a loving embrace of the city, of art and of life itself.”

I give it 5 Red Stilettos!