The Paradox of Life, Love and Leadership- You can’t do it alone


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As an American living in today’s culture, an expat professional in a global economy, far away from family and friends, an independent career woman, a feminist, a badass solo adventure traveler, and an anonymous, secretly brilliant blogging genius hidden away from prying eyes and the literary community, I have been taught that it’s good and strong to be able to go it alone.

And so many times, I hear you have to have it all together on your own before you can attract the right person to your side. THat you have to be a great individual contributor and nknow your stuff before being a manager. THat leaders must be strong, charismatic, and somehow above it all. And writers who type away without declaring themselves and such an getting MFAs and proclaiming their identity as artists from the rooftops are probably morally and technicallysuperior to their fellows who claim proud allegiance to the group of thesmelves.

One of the most sad, sublime, lonely, and proud moments of my life was when I had to go to the emergency room alone (for a sprained ankle), in a foreign country, speaking only my foreign language, got impatient/ignored waiting for someone to push me out to meet my cab home (since I didn’t have anyone to pick me up, and had lost my phone for that matter) so I just got up and cowboyed it out of there, limping my way out, and then ascended six flights of stairs to my tiny apartment, where I then navigated medical assistance in a foreign country with no insurance coverage ta the time (just a matter of paperwork and administration although I was later reimbursed) and you know, dealt with that shit.

But the truth is, I knew I wasn’t alone. My family even offered to fly out and meet me, and people from work were worried I wouldn’t have groceries. ALone is an illusion, although loneliness is part of the essence of the human condition.

I look forward to one day being a leader in my team, and of courre more than just a boss, but even bosses depend on others. The only way businesses are able to accomplish so much is through combined, collaborated, coordinated efforts. Lone geniuses in garages and melancholy agorophobic poet laureates may exist,and yet we are never really alone; we never have come from nothing, and alone is highly relative.

But yeah, I am growing up, and I have gotten used to doing maany things alone. SOmetimes what once felt like a liberation, like getting a meal at a restaurant with just a book to keep me company, felt like the ultimate in liberation just after the breakup of my first relationship.

But yes,there is no shame or harm in having someone to lean on as you climb up  the staircase. And you certainly can’t create even a fraction so much differenc ein the world, or realizing of your own individual dreams, unless you enlist epope.


So I think this is the paradox we have to accept, and realize it doesn’t make us godless, pinko, unbathed socialists.

But it does make us more human to acknowledge both sides.

All is well.

Veyry tired.

Love you all


Get to sty in France pretty muchforever ! congrat signed!



I Do Need a Man

This is probably the most mature, feminist, strong thing I”ve ever admitted to myself in the realm of relationships.

Thinking I didn’t really, or shouldn’t really need a man, I have looked for men who would perhaps be a nice to have in my life- people I couldn’t really depend on, who didn’t really want the same things as I did, or really want me.

They were a challenge, a source of entertainment, excitement, drama, hysterics, and the illusion of some kind of mystical union, the ultimate romantic ideal showing just how far the world has fallen from the perfection of our imaginations. They were all ones that got away, and eventually with good riddance!

I am whole and complete in myself, yes, but to live the life I really want, I do need a man. It would be nice to have someone take care of me for a change Doing everything myself is wearing me out. I can do it, and with a smile pasted on myself, but inside I am sometimes really crying. I do need a man.

And from this place of need comes strength. Knowing I need a man, that it is something I really truly desire and something I can own, being humble enough to want a really good and trustworthy man, someone who will take care of me when I can’t take care of myself, someone who will love me even when I find myself hard to love, someone who will just make my life better.

Before I was looking for someone to make my dreams come true, someone who fit the checklist and gratified my ego. Now, really, really happy in my own life, I am looking for someone to live my dreams with.

I want my happily ever after. I have had my heroine’s journey and received my boon, and fought my own dragons. I love my life.

And there’s nothing wrong with wanting someone to share it with.

The mentality of a single person is different from that of someone in a partnership. Marriage is about real interdependence, the true adventure of trusting your life to another human being, and trusting yourself to rebuild if it all goes awry.

For the past seven years, I have not been ready to trust in either of these things. I have not trusted that both myself and another person would be strong enough to put our lives back together, even better. I have feared harming someone I love in the case of needing to walk away. After one particularly highly placed hero fell out of my life, I finally lost faith in romantic love. I stopped believing in the Notebook, and took time to appreciate my life, and didn’t dare to hope for anything beyond an amicable fling for a while.

But now, with the same consciousness of the passage of time that pushes me to travel, to work, to make friends, and even to experience the vicisstitudes of Romantic love, knowing that this day will never happen in exactly the same way again, that I will blink and another year will have passed, that today may indeed be my last or I could live from tomorrow till another hundred years with the consequences of my present actions, I declare: I am ready.

I am ready for something real. I am ready to let go of my dreams and find a reality that surpasses them- because it is real and good and better than anything that I imagined in solipsistic reverie.

I am ready for the cracks in the sidewalks of Paris, and the gritty reality of the places I have always dreamed about. I am ready to experience, and step out of my cocoon.

Life has been incredibly good to me so far. Now I have to really trust, to really take that leap of faith, in order to rest in my beloved’s arms.

I do need a man, and in admitting this, I am liberated.

The truth will set you free, but first it will piss you off.

Now it’s just a matter of finding my man, and finding courage in the fact that he needs me too.

I need a man, not a provider, a caregiver, a hero, a lover, a best friend. I need all those things, and more, a flawed human being to love and be astonished by. A hand to hold and a set of roots who will give me wings and help me fly.

The tears on my face show that my writing is true:  I need a man.

Authenticity feels like taking a punch to the gut and other truths


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I am an extremely accomplished, well traveled, multilingual, professionally successful, pretty, ahead of the pack overachiever. I am also nice, diplomatic, ad able to work with people from other cultures well.

But for this world, I will never be enough.

THere’s either that pretty face wasted on an overweight body, the last ten pounds, the fact that I should be doing X instead of Y, the fact that I am single, the fact that I rely on a man and don’t do it all on my own, the fact that I have am not a full time artist or blogger or something creative. Having a stable job but not having a creative entrepreneurial freelance busness.

There is literaly nothing you can do to please everyone.

Religious/atheist. Corporate drone vs childish hippie.

I’ve never really felt proud of myself my whole life. I”ve been happy to make other ppeople proud, but I’ve never ben able to talk pride in my own wrk and in myself.

Even when I followed my drream and moved to France, the voices in my head only got harsher about how I should either quit my job and travel the world or buckle down and go make money back in the states.

Any dress I pick up and say I like is wrong unless someone in my entourage likes it.

Every part of me is ridiculed and blamed and stigmatized by society in some way- like Starbucks? too basic. Post quotes about travel and enlightenment? Too out there.

Tell a guy how you feel? Desperate, that’s why you can’t catch a man.

Play games? Someone always plays them better.

So I thought that if I did follow the things I wanted, I would actually eb happy.

Well, that was only half of the battle.

I got what I wanted, AND I am ecstatic!

But I still have that voice in my head- it’s not enough, I’m not enough, my dream isn’t the right dream, other people are having a better time, I”m a fuck up, I”m better than them, He’s too good for me, O he’s not good enough…

And on and on.

Fuck off, ego.

Fuck off, society.

I don’t need to flip you the bird, I don’t need to throw my life away, I don’t need to lose a few pounds, I don’t need to eat whatever I want when I want, I don’t need to change jobs or countries, I don’t need a partner or not to want a partner so badly.

All I need to do is get you fucking monkeys off of my shoulders and chest.

Get the fuck away from me.

Go fuck yourself.

I don’t need your applause.

I don’t need your validation.

I don’t need your punishment.

I don’t need your anything.

All I need is real love, from myself and also from real others.

All I need is to say No to all the lies floating through my mind.

All I need is to pull the plug on the matrix of hollow so-called “truths,” my mind created.

All I need is to wake up and live.

I say yes to life.

No matter how hard it is, no matter ho wmany tears I shed, no matter how many smiles stretch my cheeks, no matter how many frowns crinkle my brow, no matter how much wonder and mystery and uncertainy an dchange I have to put up with, no matter how man  comfortable illusions I give up,n o matter how many idols I slash.


It’s always been within.



Letting go of my story

The stories we tell about ourselves are powerful. They provide a frame for our lives and support for our ambitions- or not.

This is not a particularly original idea, any therapist or Buddhist koan will tell you as much.

But actually engaging with our stories and letting them go is really hard.

In fact, in my case, I feel like once the initial shock wears off or once I feel comfortable to tell the story, I tell it again and again, hoping to find comfort and answers, but I just grind it down more deeply into my mind and heart. That’s often not a good thing.

Right now I am going through a particularly blocked period in regards to my apartment. It is really overflowing and messy, but large enough that it still feels spacious and there’s enough floor to find what I need.

I’ve gotten used to the story of me just being a messy and disorganized person. It is part of my identity. I’m reading the THe life-changing magic of tidying up now though so I hope to change this.

Idon’t know if the problem is really that I have too much stuff- though I’m sure I do-

but I do just feel afraid to put it in order.

For a long time now, I’ve just been living out of a suitcase.

There’s a ton of freedom in that.

In an ever changing world, we shouldn’t get too comfortable, comfort is for the weak-

But I’m actually full of shit about that. Stability can be for the strong, however much it may be an illusion.

Building something, even though it will eventually decay, is true art, and courage.

Living though you will eventually die is courage.

In my case I am eager to just unpack my bags and settle for a while. Maybe wanderlust will take me again; maybe it won’t.

I feel satisfied, and I feel like this is the place I always want to go back to.

You know my stories though, and how hard I have struggled with this.

WIth doing something that is so inditutively clear but really assaults my logical senses. But no matter what my brain says- and now I recognize my so called “logic,” is not actually that logical, it is just ego monkey mind posing as truthin order to self sabotage me.

I think there’s a lot of stories I need to get rid of and put in order.

One is about my ex boyfriend, and all the things I told myself that made it doomed from the beginning and just pure stupidity ever to have been with him. Not because I ever hated him, though I do have moments where I finally feel mad, and finally feel like I can be trusted to stand up for myself. I think that is a main reason why I have remained single. It’s not all independent woman girl power, or finding myself mojo.

No, I think the real reason is that I didnt trust myself not to be lost if I started to love someone else.

And to have been with the ones I tought I loved, that woul have taken a big chunk out of me.

One of them, in good faith I believe, set me free.

Not because he didn’t care, but perhaps because he did. ANd he maybe didn’t care about me the way I hoped he would, the way I expected he would, but he gave me what I needed.

He helped me be my own hero.

He abandonned me, and I almost hated him and completely doubted myself, but just now I realize, I wasn’t wrong to put a bit of trust in him, and he did love me. He loved me enough to let me go and force me out of a cage I built for myself.

ANd I like to think that helped him let a part of himself go free as well.


Well that story perhaps has a different ending than I realized.

The hero steps off his pedestal, or perhaps was never on a pedestal at all.

And I stop slouching down and take my place, right where I belong.

He’s no more and no less than human, and I’m no less than a heroine in my own right.

Good thing I blog.

I really do see relationships as the mirror of our internal lives and satae of consciousness. My ex was chosen by a person who can’t even properly be called “me” at this point. She is so much the sae but so completely different.

And the so- called bad guy in my life, who jerked by strings/chains like a mmarionette, he too contributed to my liberation, and I took the chains back.

NO, I am not a victim, yes, I am sometimes in need of a rescue, of a little outside help. But I don’t need to be any less than I am in order to find my hero.

And yes, I have come upon my home world, peut etre. But there will be other worlds to explore. I don’t need to tear myself down or nail myself or get bogged down or tied down, in order to be loved or whole or to find a home.

I can be loved, not simply with an extra weight and some fat and a bit of extra barrage an dmessiness and bad habits, but I can also be loved without it.

I don’t need to say, “I don’t want to be a CEO,” or “I can’t be a writer.”

I can just be them when the opportunity comes.

I have not sacrificed even one meter of one verse of my life to anything less than


I went to business school so I cold live in the world, understand it, and lead it- to love the world.

I left France because I was still curious.

I got depressed because I was in fear. I gained weight because I stopped paying attention. I became nasty to myself as a means of protection and punishment.

I isolaed myself beause I didn’t honestly think any one wanted .

Ad most of all, I am a font of inherent goodness, and beauty. We are all eternal.

Discipline & Creativity


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This year, I’m going to make it a focus to create space in my life for creativity, and also pursue my goals with discipline and fun.

If I wake up just an hour earlier each day, and use the time to write, edit pictures, or do meditation and exercise, I think that will be a total game changer.

While my career is of course really important to me, I’m looking forward to enjoying my job and a little bit of stability. I”m sure there will be a lot to learn and do and for the moment, I”m pretty happy with what I have.

This is huge for me.

No more trying to “escape.”

When the time comes, I’ll leave, but I”m happy to be where I am.

And this is giving me the possibility to really pursue my creative goals.

I just set up a facebook page where I will post all my inspirational quotes and interesting articles. Hopefully I can generate some interest and spread the love beyond facebook and friends.

I want to set up a blog specifically about my life in France, and to publish the book of essays I”ve already written.

There is a lot of room for improvement but I think I need to just get something out there.

I”m hoping that my creative endeavors can also provide a bit of a supplement to my income.  My feeling is that it’s providing people a way to provide value to me since I work to provide value to them. It’s not in any way obligatory but maybe there is someone out there who wouldn’t mind buying me a cup of tea, and if there’s enough someones out there I could buy a new camera lens or fund a trip.

I don’t think it’s offensive since I”m still providing a public good- or so I hope- free of charge. Feel free to share your thoughts on this.

SO yes, it’s healthy eating, going to bed at a reasonable time, and more writing and less Facebooking for me- because I love myself enough to do it.

Speaking of which, it’s now time to clean my apartment…

I want to own a piece of Paris…


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When looking up a new apartment to rent, I found that I could buy an apartment not too different from the one I live in for a price that was reasonable, much more reasonable than I ever imagined, and have a mortgage less than or equal to rent in the area.


Add to this the fact that I have a permanent job and I work for a financial company that gives preferential treatment to its employees.

I could own a piece of Paris.

The idea immediately seized me, and I started wondering if I could swing it and well, if I would be in Paris long enough to make it worthwhile.

Later the same day, I learned that with the restructuring of my company, it would be both easy and advantageous professionally to move to London. Salaries would be adjusted accordingly.

I knew immediately I didn’t want to do that.

The next day I booked a big trip through Central Europe which I’ll do during my break between contracts.

I was euphoric.

I went to my habitual Lebanese sandwich shop and bought a guidebook on Romania near St Michel, and tried to find a not too hot place to eat on the Seine. Unsuccesfull, I found a park bench not far away and inhaled my sandwich, taking a look around me, and realizing, this is as good as it gets.

I created the life I want, through the grace of God.

I love what I am experiencing, and the person I am becoming.

And the idea of owning a piece of Paris is very, very attractive to me.

I did some research though and real estate prices have dropped (though more in the affluent areas), and the historically low interest rates won’t necessarily make up for that. You really have to own for 6 years to have a chance of recuperating your invesment, let along making money. Rent control laws have been passed recently, and property taxes have increased.

Still, I’ll have to see how the cookie crumbles.

I really want to find myself a home. Something made completely to my taste.

Yes, I hope to have a significant other, but at this point in my life, one of th ebenefits of being single is that I don’t have to share.

The idea of having a space perfectly tailored to my needs, my own chez moi, a place I don’t have to leave- that would be really really awesome.

I hope I find my own space soon.

I like the little slice of the universe I’m on.

However, maybe by letting it go, it all gets down.

And I’ll find a way to paint my walls anyway, perhaps.

And I want to have customized storage and DIY projects and all that jazz.

What I think I wanted most, and can only give myself, is permission to stay, in a place where I’ve found bliss.

Yes, I can do that.

I don’t need a reason to stay.

Joy in the Journey

Originally posted on Morning Story and Dilbert:

Morning Story and Dilbert Vintage Dilbert
July 29, 1998

If you have ever been discouraged because of failure, please read on.

For often, achieving what you set out to do is not the important thing. Let me explain.

Two brothers decided to dig a deep hole behind their house. As they were working, a couple of older boys stopped by to watch.

“What are you doing?” asked one of the visitors.

“We plan to dig a hole all the way through the earth!” one of the brothers volunteered excitedly.

The older boys began to laugh, telling the younger ones that digging a hole all the way through the earth was impossible.

After a long silence, one of the diggers picked up a jar full of spiders, worms and a wide assortment of insects. He removed the lid and showed the wonderful contents to the scoffing visitors.

Then he said quietly and confidently, “Even if…

View original 201 more words

Choosing not to have problems- Defining Success


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Now that the problem of what I iwll do for work next year and where I want to be have been solved, praise be, my tendency is to want to pick other areas of my life to improve, or rather, get up to speed.

Because everything is a problem.

Becuase there is some fixed ideal of how I should be.

Because life is meaningless without something going wrong that I need to make ight.

Because my ego wants to cling to the idea that “I” know what’s best for my life and that the means of achieving it are all within my power- related to this being the belief that anything that is “wrong” is a reflection of my lack of worthiness and the fact that I “don’t deserve it.”

Well, Ifinally recognize that this is not the answer.

Achieving goals is not what gves my life meaning- life is meaningful within itslef.

I don’t deserve happiness because I achieve something, I deserve happiness because I  am a child of the light.

I”m not talking about living a life of denial when something’s really wrong. Or being ocmpletely without hopes and dreams.

But desie can be quite empty.

And seeing everything in your life as a project is really exhausting.

Living my life as a problem to be solved or a question to be answered isn’t eally working for me.

So let’s try something else- being happy and going with the flow, and not making my “results” my identity.

Because ‘m a whole lot more than that.

Well, I recognize that living like that is not the answer.


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