May 31- monthly update for success

Dear sweet May,

this is your last day, and I realize I need to face your questions:

Have you achieved your goals?

Is there any progress in your love life and work this month?

Yes, I think there is, but I know the deadline I have set is approaching.

When it comes to work, I have just sent another job application and the organization of the summer event is going smoothly. Different artists I like have confirmed their presence.  I have also continued activities I had engaged myself to, doing what was humanly possible. Almost.

Could have I sent more job or funding applications? Submitted again my manuscripts? Yes. And I admit having felt discouraged here and there because of a negative answer in one of my requests on May 10. My mentor to be, declined participation in one of my projects. That slowed me down. I haven’t answered some emails and I procrastinated.

I am not very effective under pressure. I need a psychological break from worrying to look for things I love. I am not sure though if this is a good long-term strategy.

What I need is to learn how to keep my morale high, no matter what. After all, as a whole, things are going well. Especially in comparison to other people in my field. I need to be self-confident, have more faith.

Hmm, when it comes to my love life, I am slowly engaging in a process of self-disclosure. Accepting my vulnerability . How is it possible to get close to someone wearing a mask? Because, it is not a question of whether X is willing or not to go out with me. It is a question of what I intend to do when this will happen.

Am I ready to meet him, or do I prefer the safety of my hiding place?

And before I forget, dear May, writing a post a day, helped me realize I am having a good time, friends I like to spent time with, and romantic objects to fall in love with.

I am grateful for that.

La pivoine

http://blog.interflora.fr/encyclopedie-des-fleurs/fiches-fleurs/pivoine/

Advertisements

May 30- divorced fathers

Hello May,

Yes, I only sent a funding application at 2.00 in the morning. I know I could have done it earlier, but I preferred to go out with two old friends for a drink. One of them is a divorced father, with a two year old daughter. We all met during our studies, and each has taken a different path in life. But we still love each other and get together from time to time to catch up.

We were surprised to hear that his relationship ended so soon and that they are not in good terms. As an observer, I find it hard to believe that it is possible to separate so soon after the decision to have a child.

But this is also the case of B who has a 4 year old also adorable kid. Is it the change in their lives? Is it the responsibilities that put the relationship under pressure?

I have no idea, at least our friend couldn’t explain the reasons that brought them to it, other than the change in his wife’s personality from the moment she became a mother.

Since I haven’t been close to the couple, I have absolutely no opinion, and no idea how this change can affect a couple. After all, I only have my friend’s version. And the most important thing, if it is final, is to find the best way to communicate for their child’s sake.

On the other hand, the discussion put me into thoughts concerning B, the object of my affection. Is a divorced father a species ready for a new relationship? Or is he someone who is looking for some form of distraction? Is it a particular species, or each one has his own characteristics?

I have to admit anyway, that for me, B’s charm is related to his role as a father, and the way he cares for his child.

This is enough to make him attractive.

 

http://ckl.ehe.osu.edu/new-parents-project/

 

May 29- Butterfly emerging: on being magnetic

Dear May,

it must be spring, a lot of couples are kissing in the street, in the parks, love is in the air.

It is wonderful! You just want to join this incentive especially in a day like this, a holiday!

After getting up late I accompanied a friend to FNAC, a chain store for everything related to culture: books, music, films…

She was looking for something in the personal development section and while I was waiting I investigated the section dedicated to relationships. There were a lot of books on couples, with “Men are from Mars, women are from Venus”, still on the top of the shelves. I looked at it but was not convinced to buy it. There was another one on what men want, referring again to couples. Maybe they are stereotyping people, or not. I would have given them a chance if they had something to say on the question I ask right now:

I am interested in B, and I want to spend some time with him, to get to know him better. And I would need some encouragment from him.

The last book was on what makes a woman irresistible. Again, the first part was dedicated to a “before” meeting someone you like, situation. There was even a design with body postures that showed a person is “mal aimé”, or doesn’t love oneself enough.

It was also giving counter-examples, or behaviors to be avoided. I didn’t recognize myself in any of them. Then, the positive example can be resumed in one phrase:

BE MAGNETIC!

And that consisted of having a purpose in life. Ok, I got that one.

Then the second advice was:

BE FEMINE!

This is very cultural, but for the author of the book it meant: wear high heels, dresses, make up, and accessorize your look.

I didn’t buy any of the books, but as I went out tonight for a walk, I noticed how many women were wearing high heels and dresses. And I admit that I was wearing my sneakers and jeans, carrying around a notebook to write down my ideas. And my hair was attached. I think that I was looking fine, but a simple mortal wouldn’t recognize me as a goddess, right away.

Could these books have a point? But then there is nothing on how to open your heart to each other. When you get back home with this guy and you get off your high heels?

The caterpillar and butterfly metaphor came back to my mind. I think that a lot of “internal” work has been accomplished during my chrysalis period. I feel close to emerging as a butterfly. I need to open my wings and get myself into the “right outfit”. Not as a disguise, to hide who we are.

But as a way to communicate our inner being.

<a href=”http://www.glorious-butterfly.com/”>Monarch Butterfly</a>

May 28- from caterpillar to butterfly: a metamorphosis

Dear May,

I am in a fairy tale mood today. The day has been full of surprises and inspired me to look for resources in this magic world I have never abandoned. How does Cinderella get her confidence in the palace ball? Was it the intervention of the fairy god-mother? The beautiful dress? The miracles she had just witnessed?

Or was she already at the threshold, she had already transformed her internal world?

What I mean is, let’s imagine for a second that the fairy god-mother entered the wrong house, dressed and offered to any other girl to take her to the ball as if she were a princess. Would that be enough for her to act as one?

Any girl is potentially a princess, but I think we need to feel worthy of it. Having other people tell you so is just not enough.

Let’s take the example of the butterfly. There are four stages: the eggs, the larva, the caterpillar which becomes a chrysalis; This chrysalis doesn’t give any particular sign of life. But what really happens is that she is preparing in secret for a metamorphosis: and when the time comes, she emerges as a stunning butterfly.

This is why this metamorphosis is like a miracle.

But in reality, it is a sequel of little, invisible steps that makes the big difference!

 

May 27-Love as a source of motivation

Dear May,

after a first part of the day where I did almost everything in my power for one of my artistic event projects, where appointments were succeeding each other, my level of motivation went down significantly. Is this effort going to succeed? Am I moving to stay in the same spot?

I knew my working day was not over, but I found it difficult to concentrate and write. Yes, I admit that my writing has been affected by this motivation slope. I went out for coffee with a friend, but things didn’t improve because she mentioned that if B, my favorite guy, doesn’t find time for me, he’s not interested. That was enough to bring me to an even lower level.

Right now, B seems to represent some of the things I love: sociable, family person, warm, positive. I am not ready to think of someone else. I need more time to realize if I just project on him elements I like, or if I can relate to in a meaningful way. If I can grow to the person who is capable to really meet him.

Being in love with a person, or a dream, can be a tremendous source of motivation, but when this love is not being answered, it is extremely painful and demotivating.

Of course there is the love of God, creation, nature, all that it exists and makes the world go round. But the “in love” feeling is a type of concentrated formula, an explosive serum of love.

If I see something, or someone that I like, my whole being is submerged with desire. The kind of desire also needed for writing.

How can we keep up this motivation, be constantly “in love” with our objective?

How can we stay “in love” with our growing and extending self?

http://www.iwantcovers.com/love-41/

 

May 26- How to solve a dilemma?

Dear May,

I had promised you to go to bed early so that I get up early in the morning. But this last email was difficult to write. It took me at least an hour. No, it isn’t long. Just a paragraph.

But I needed to ask for help without being clingy. I was writing to the member of a committee that decides tomorrow for the funding of one of my projects. A person that I appreciate and would also like to invite to the event I organize this summer in the South of France. Both are very important for me.

I didn’t want to say something like: Hello, I am April. I would like to invite you to an artistic event that I organize this summer in the South of France. Oh, and by the way, I have another project that needs funding. The vote is casted tomorrow. Can you vote in favor?

I felt the only way out was to make a choice: either the invitation to the event, or the vote. I only invited him to participate to my summer event.

The same thing goes with love I think. Let’s say that I am in love with A and he seems to like me too. But we have just been acquainted. I cannot say for example: A, you are such a charming person, I am in love with you. And oh, by the way, could you do this and that favor for me?

This second part destroys the authenticity of the feeling.

If my love for A is more important than my desire to get x y or z, I would need to choose.

Putting too many demands at the beginning of a relationship doesn’t seem right. Even later.

There is not one human being I think, that should answer all our needs, simultaneously.

Not even our self.

http://www.afi-esca.com/assurance-de-pret-sur-mesure/infos-pratiques/faire-son-choix

 

May 25- Profiles: books and writers

Dear May,

yes, I was at the café “Les Editeurs”, but not at 14.00 in the afternoon. I went there in the evening for a drink. It is one of my favorite St-Germain places, too bad it is going to be closed for renovation from June 1st to August 1st.

As an avid reader, I decided to read three books at the same time, from the closest shelf. The best way to wait for a friend that would join me. Yes, it is unrealistic. And disrespectful to the authors. It is as if you are coming and going in three lectures, slapping the door every time. Or, to be even more vulgar, as if I were changing tv channel.

So, my apologies to the authors.

ShalmanRushdi’s book, “Midnight’s Children”, published in 1980, on India’s transition from colonialism to an independent State, captured my attention. I decided to return to him.

Paul-Loup Sulitzer. His 2011 book “the empire of the water lily”, starts in China and is an adventure involving the local mafia, the Triad.

Jean-Barthélémy Bokassa and Olivier Keavel. Their book is on men and women with the objective to marry a millionaire and the way to achieve it.

Isn’t it amazing how different authors and books can co-exist on the same book-shelf? In the same way different people walk on the street at a certain moment.

I didn’t have time to read the books. But it was as if they were presenting three types of authors and their destinies. Shalman Rushdie, a literary award-winning author, who has been sentenced to death by Khomeini in 1989.

Paul-Loup Sulitzer, a business-man and a millionaire. He has been accused of using as a ghostwriter for some of his books Loup Durand, according to Wikipedia (http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul-Loup_Sulitzer).  A best-selling author, writing finance-fiction.

And finally the other two authors who present themselves as experts of the millionaire whereabouts: the grandson of an African dictator, and Olivier Keravel, a journalist.

At least, this is the information I found googling them.

But my point is, if there are so many sorts of books published, and so different author profiles, we have a choice:

On the kind of author we are going to become.

http://tribioon.com/saint-germain-des-pres/2011/12/05/les-editeurs-un-caf%C3%A9-restaurant-%C3%A0-la-page/

May 24- Into the woods (4): The era of the dinosaurs

Hello May,

What would it be like to live in the time of the dinosaurs?

For the little girl siting next to me at the local café, it would have been great, since she preferred to live in this period. This is what I would have liked, she stated. Her mother was more pragmatic. There were not many things around at the time, she responded, you might have been bored.

This is an important question to start the day with. Are we having more fun now than we would eventually have if we were running around hunting, pray to the elements of nature and to the occasional Tyrannosaurus?

We have more security. In a way. Internet. Mobile phones. If I see a Tyrannosaurus approaching I can call my friends to the rescue, and send them a mms with the exact size of the beast and its location. We run less, which is good and bad at the same time. We have the illusion that we can make it by ourselves. At the era of the dinosaurs we would have to collaborate more.

How about our love life? Would it have been easier?

There might be less time for dating rituals. Life was shorter and people would have to cut to the chase. No doubting, no questioning. No, “does he/she really like me or is he/she just a friend?” No “I feel injured from my last relationship, I am not yet ready for a new one”. No, “is this only physical or is it love?”Yes, or No. And some fighting in case there was competition or difference of opinion. Women were probably as great warriors and hunters as men.

That is how I imagine love at the era of the dinosaurs.

By the way, scientists support that human beings didn’t coexist with dinosaurs. (http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/faq.php#humansanddinos).

But this is just a detail 😉

 

http://www.wired.com/2007/06/scientists_disc/

Dinosaur

 

 

 

 

May 23- On writing and getting published

Dear May,

today I talked to an editor, out of the record, about a manuscript I would like to submit, just to get his temperature. Should I submit it? He said, ok, but it is not something that is going to change the face of the earth.

Oh, and he just wants me to precise in my cover letter that it is not a novel, but a “nouvelle“, something shorter, but bigger than a short-story.

This is not exactly encouragement, but I will do it anyway.

Should the object be to change the face of the earth? Haven’t I done it already just by being here???  And the same goes of course for every human being in this planet. We are all important, we have our special talents, characteristics, attributes. If we take the population of the earth in 2014, there is a minority who has the possibility to write fiction. And among these people, not everyone will want to get published and not everyone will succeed.

What is my motivation? I want to create a platform for people to meet, a home where I could invite my known and unknown friends for a party. A place that feels like home, but is full of mysteries, action and romance.

How do we know if our future editor is going to like what we create? I mean, he or she is not the first person I am thinking about when I start working. Or should it be?

The truth is that this particular “nouvelle” has taken me much time because I had in mind other people’s opinion. I was afraid I was proposing things in a style that was not recognizable, so I tried to be pragmatic. Not that I don’t like it.

Maybe it is better to trust my wild side.

Which would be my favorite editor to begin with?

I might need to contact the friend I have run into during the OULIPO writer’s evening 🙂

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Writing

 

strawberry mojito: relationships and self-transformation

Dear May,

today I celebrated the job I am to be offered with a strawberry mojito. Which one? I don’t know yet.It will materialize soon. I need to stay positive to mobilize the necessary energy for all my projects :-).

Before, I had visited an exhibition of a Platform artist, where I met several colleagues, artists, organizers etc. We also had a meeting around my summer event. One of the themes of this event will be “love”. We discussed different aspects and ways to materialize it. It was an intense day so it was great to end it with a friendly chat. In a way, we continued on the same topic:

Love and relationships.

One of my friends who is single, said she can’t see anyone she likes lately. After observing a few passers by, we asked her to rate them in order to understand her taste. She finally ended up admiting that two men were attractive for her. This is great, considering that we spent an hour on the spot. The other one, in a relationship, is dating a guy she loves, but he has an intrusive mother. She doesn’t approve of her for her son and has taken the trouble to tell him.

Liking someone, loving a person who loves us back, is the first step. But then, he comes with a network of relationships with other people, part of his previous life. Could be his mother, his son, his friends, colleagues from work, sister, neighbour, client, boss, dog.

A relationship is a form of reconstruction of oneself and of the other. Of our past networks and relationships. Of someone’s time. Habits. And some of our former relationships might not like that.

It is a big change.

And change is great, but also uncomfortable.

Am I ready for it, or am I satisfied to imagine what it would be like?

http://www.recettes-mojito.fr/2012/05/recette-du-mojito-la-fraise.html