7 Feb 2013

Silver Linings

So last weekend was a rather busy one for me.  I had one of my best friend's staying with me and it was inevitable that Paris once more would turn me into the prime tourist; experiencing for the umpteenth time the magic of Notre Dame, walks along the Seine, Parisian cafes, Concorde, art galleries, shopping in the Marais....

But it certainly wasn't your average experience, let me tell you that.  As much as I love spontaneity (I really am a true sucker for it), the weekend certainly brought its fair share of surprises.  Notably the fact that I was made homeless on Sunday morning.  And before you shake your head with disbelief, I would just like to point out that I am not (yet) sharing a cardboard box with the beggars on the street who smell like stale urine and eat out of the trash can.  Praise the Lord for that.  Genuinely.

To avoid stating the obvious: being made homeless is a pretty big deal.  Oh wait, I just did.  But thankfully I didn’t lose my job as well so there are still things to be grateful for.  The “Keep Calm and Carry On” mentality never seemed more appropriate.  Not that I’m fighting a World War or anything, but it’s been a helpful slogan nevertheless. #propagandamoment

But being a trooper meant I needed a few allies:

1) My amazingly supportive friends who have been with me every step of the way.  Notably Rachel who
made me tea and fed me umpteen Oreos, Becky who lifted my spirits with her glowing presence and willingness to listen, Chiara for telling me to stand my ground and offering me a weekend away in Brussels and my Mummy for being the voice of reason and love.  Not to mention all you lovely people in Paris who offered your apartments up to me with open arms, and those of you who supported me with your Facebook comments and texts and generally filled me with an unparalleled belief in myself.  Much gratitude is owed!  

2) God and prayer.  I knew I had to speak to my landlady but I was nervous and panicked.  I was scared she wouldn't listen to me; that I'd get all emotional and splutter something in pseudo-French.  But alas, God was faithful and he provided me with the strength, peace and wisdom which I never believed I possessed. 

3) Bradley Cooper.  Don't laugh.  I went to see Silver Linings Playbook on Saturday night and the film really struck a chord with me.  I may not have a mental illness (please someone affirm this!), but as Bradley Cooper (well, his character) said: "You have to do everything you can and if you stay positive you have a shot at a silver lining."  Marry me.

With silver linings on the brain, my weekend wasn't all so bad...

I ran 21.1km (casual), experienced the fantastically erotic surrealism of Dali at the Pompidou, discovered restaurant heaven at Le Dome du Marais, hit the flea market at Porte du Clignancourt, had the scrummiest Chocolat Viennois at a cute tea shop, picnicked in the Jardin du Luxembourg and spent quality time with my wonderful friends.  So despite the suffering, there's a lot to be grateful for.  And to give the woman credit, she did listen to me complain for a solid ten minutes.  It appears the silver lining is brightening more visions than one...

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