Are You You?

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Disclaimer: my ideas and opinions are subjected to change as I go through this beautiful thing we call life. You can help me shape my ideas by commenting and sharing your own perspective, as long as it is done in a respectful manner. I am looking forward to hearing from you!

#AreYouYou?




Every once in a while there is a slight shift, some sort of spiritual awakening. Then, one day as you open your eyes, you realize you have been catering to a certain ideal, specific expectations that somehow were not necessarily aligned with your inner self. Deep down you might* have known all along that something was quite peculiar…

We are taught to be “good”, sage comme une image (well-behaved, like a still picture, a photograph) and that if we’d step/act out we’d be labeled as rebel, and possibly ostracized. It is in some ways fundamental to learn these boundaries in order to understand how The System works, so you can recognize when it is on the move (to get you). Unfortunately, some of us, after being so perfectly conditioned are too far along into standardization to even realize how constrained we are, unaware of our lack of Freedom. Others, although recognizing their limitations, will forever be doomed to wander in limbo, paralyzed by fear.

So are we really who we are meant to be?

Or maybe I am just overthinking, taking myself way to seriously, failing to realize that I am just another collection of ingeniously arranged carbon atoms surpassed by the complexity of her soul.


Never Enough?

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I never feel like I’m enough. I used to be an avid reader growing up and although I still read regularly there are so many others books to be read, so many authors I don’t even know about.

I graduated last September. My studies were as challenging than rewarding and I am so grateful I have learnt so much. I belong to the “privileged”; it also made me realize how little I know about virtually every topic I can think of.

I admire eloquence and wit of those consistent souls who have goals and reach them. I, myself, am well intentioned and constantly plan ahead, “list” in an attempt to get things done and better myself— and fall [so] short.

I know that hard work is always rewarded, eventually, that repetition bring us closer to “perfection” and one can do everything they put their my mind to, yet I easily get overwhelmed and systematically experience staggering stage fright. I resent judgment so much that I hide my weaknesses with assurance and stare at my fears right in the eyes without ever turning my back as I’m afraid it would stab me.

Can it be that there are too many books to read, or too much knowledge available to be versed in all of them? Definitely so!!!! I should see this as a quality: it forces me to do better. So why do I never feel like I am enough? Why are these wicked insecurities crawling under my feet and meddling through the cracks [any cracks] show up at the most inopportune times? I guess that no matter how prepared I think I am I should make peace with it and get used to it. Meanwhile, the struggle continues…

Can We All Just Get Along? #PeaceOffering

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I recently celebrated the 11th anniversary of my arrival in New York. Eleven years, is a long time. Yet, when you meet an 11 year old, you feel as they don’t know much about life and that the best is yet to come. Of course I miss many things about my mother’s land: my family, my friends, the food… the ease at which one is quick to purchase a weekend in Rome or Budapest, or even New York. The health benefits just to state the obvious, four weeks paid vacation, the month of May… just to state a few… When I tell people I am French, they look at me dubitatively, and ask why I am here. Like if France, was the most romantic and idyllic place on planet Earth. Well, my dear friend, I guess we always think the grass is greener in other side of the pond, don’t we?

The reality is that my love living here, right now; more specifically, I love the opportunities, to know there are there to grab if you work hard enough. Of course, there are opportunities other places, but for now, here is my home. Will I always love it? I do not know. It’s been only 11 years, and I might change my mind at some point.

Today, I am really comfortable with who I am and represent, and do not feel I shall refrain from comparing or criticizing things or people I find offensive, distasteful or admirable; However, it came to my attention that some of my rants bothered certain people, not because of what I was saying, but because of who I was… which could be understandable, I guess? One might feel attacked, looked upon, dismissed… Maybe I should stop complaining about not being able to find a descent baguette up in here? I mean, it does sound condescending, but perfectly fits the French stereotype I think you have of me, isn’t it right? I am just trying to make you feel comfortable since I refuse to disclose my “race or ethnicity”: now you can put me in a box (smiley face). Here I go again… just joking… not— bygone…

Bottom line, I love it here, and from now on, I think I will try to be a bit more considerate of your feelings people, cause I want us to get along and bond <3

In Becoming the Woman I Was Always Meant to Be

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Life is challenging. No kidding.

Constantly remind myself to be thankful for all the blessings in my life does not make me not complain about what things could be if I had spent more time focusing on things I really wanted. “Make it happen” they say. But is it that easy? There is a plethora of things that excite me. First and foremost, music. I love to sing, write and compose, but never really share, being overly critical of my abilities. I also love science and engineering, and have been thinking for a few months about exploring these new horizons, but have to think on the implication of going back to school on my personal and financial life. Finally, I have been writing this novel… I am still on the first page tho, hahahaha. Sci-fi— I feel I need a stronger plot tho. to be continued.

Maybe I just need to start things… *shift of consciousness*

I plan on 2015 to be the woman I was always meant to be. Looking passed judgements, focus on my goals, plan strategically and act.

Wish me luck.

Back from my European tour – 2014

Europe is refreshing. As a tourist.

Photo Sep 19, 20 44 30Once again, my vacations met my expectations. I spent (almost) enough time everywhere I stopped so I could see my family and friends, and wouldn’t get bored. Although it was a fast-paced kinda vaca, the type you need days off so you can recover from it, it was amazingly entertaining!

Photo Sep 09, 11 49 30My highlights were always related to the beach, which I love dearly. For me there is nothing better than floating in the sea/ocean, rocked by the waves. Thank you to the elements blessing us with amazing weather and my friends for gracefully driving us around!!

Photo Sep 16, 15 40 19I also went in the Pyrenées and several other cities. I always feel really blessed to be able to enjoy that type of things.

As expected I didn’t need much in my luggage and even less than what I brought as September was strangely warm (I’m not complaining)

Happy to be back in Brooklyn now: ready for the new season and full of positive energy–

About my upcoming trip, and packing…

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It has been going on for  a month now. I have been packing… then unpacking… and re-packing…

There is nothing like the excitement you feel when you are about to travel; at least for me. I have always loved it, so much that for a while was a flight attendant, so felt pretty good about my abilities to pack light (Erykah’s voice). Yet, there were always the untouched clothes, I would not rock for various reasons… which meant there was room for improvement!

So this year, I wanted to surpass myself by gearing up even smarter. This year my carry on will bear what all the clothes I will parade for my next 3 weeks of travel. Of course, it doesn’t mean I won’t shop (silly) but the goal will be to really make it work with what I got, and look GOOD – totally feasible.

As a disclaimer, it is way easier to pack at this time of the year, then it is in the winter, nonetheless, still a challenge! Also, my hair products are in my boo suitcase – gotta get my hair did, okayyyyyy????

Here’s how I proceeded:

  • My first step was to assess the weathers*: London has a very different feel than the South of France, Bordeaux, Paris and other cities I am visiting. So for me, layering would be the best option (always is anyway)
  • Secondly, I had plan my activities: I like to know what I will do, who I will meet and where; it makes the outfit choice way easier: laid back black pants and oxfords for London, jumpsuit, bathing suit, little cute dress and flats for Marseille, skinny jeans and gold accent bootsies for Paris…
  • Finally, I had to do a fitting, just to see if this will work. Let me tell you, it was the most tedious and fun part: it allowed me to edit a lot of things…

Now the luggage is finally packed, it is less than 10kg (or so it seems) and I am excited to share the looks in the upcoming weeks!

So stay tuned and check my IG page @fgibk!

It’s my Birthday!!!!!

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Today I am celebrating my ninth-twenty-fifth birthday. What a joy to have made it that far. Looking back, I’m extremely proud of my achievements, and I’m overwhelmed by the plethora of possibilities ahead.

I used to think that I was getting old. But I don’t feel the same way anymore. I am getting wise— I don’t worry anymore about like I used to. I take it one day at the time, and have the strong belief that it all will come together. I am much more confident, well rounded, appreciative and stress-free that I used to be. I also enjoy observing and analyzing the processes, people and life in general.

My opinions are much more fluid.
I’m open to change, because I have nothing to be afraid of.

Don’t get me wrong: it’s not easy everyday, I also get depressed sometimes, but overall there is no other place is rather be.

Happy birthday to me!

My little Business is 4 years old: Happy Birthday Aoede’s Hands

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Four years ago I started my own small business Aoede’s Hands
It has been an interesting roller-coaster, full of challenges and lessons for me.

Firstly, It was never planned.

I have always loved accessorizing unbranded, very simple clothes with fabulous accessories, such as belts, shoes and bags. I also really loved earrings and necklaces, but the very pretty ones always were too pricy, and unfortunately I didn’t have the means to spend my money on those I really liked. #agirlgotbillstopay

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The previous year, a friend of mine, Hiroko, made jewelry for one of her classes project, and gifted me a pair of earrings, which I loved (and still have). Until then, it never occurred to me that I could actually make it myself. So, after some research, mainly at the library, reading arts and craft books, I migrated to YouTube tutorials and blogs. I really liked fabric as a medium because I had been sewing since I was a child, and was very comfortable with it. I went down Fashion district and explored the millions of fabric stores. I finally found this African owner who carried beautiful wax (African fabric) and was willing to sell by the yard.

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Let me tell you there were lots of trials and errors! However, I kept working on the product until I was satisfied finish. When I was happy with one piece, I proudly rock my pieces; then something amazing happened: I was constantly complimented by strangers about them, and even stopped. This lady asked me how much I was selling them. I was shocked! She wanted to pay me!!!

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That was perfect, since I was a struggling student and I could use some extra cash to pay for classes and other expenses.

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Since then, I have been creating and selling my accessories all over the world, opened an Etsy boutique, participated to many events and street fairs. This allowed me to meet and collaborate with lots of very interesting people and grow as an individual. I also had a lot of supports from my beautiful friends in all areas, from helping me build my website, to organizing photoshoots, purchasing fabric on their trip to Africa, writing articles in French, English, Japanese, etc… tagging and promoting my jewelry!

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One of the highlights of Aoede’s Hands was when Tatiana Ward aka BeatFaceHoney made this amazing video.

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I am so grateful of all the opportunities that were given to me and I hope the future will soon bring Aoede’s Hands to another level, now that I can dedicate more time for expansion and promotion!

<3 Thank you to all <3

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How do I deal with certain things as a self-declared Woman of a Culturally and Ethnically Rich Background (WCERB)

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Disclaimer: my ideas and opinions are subjected to change as I go through this beautiful thing we call life. You can help me shape my ideas by commenting and sharing your own perspective, as long as it is done in a respectful manner. I am looking forward to hearing from you!

IMG_0211These past few days I have had interesting interactions with friends about gender and race discrimination, and I came into a few conclusions of my own.

Let me first tell you a little about me: I believe race and gender are of social construct. I was socialized as a typical “white girl”. My mother’s family is French of Italian descent, and I grew up among them; therefore, for the first part of my life: I was oblivious of many things related to race/ethnicity. Of course, I saw there were different types of people, from different continents, but I didn’t think that their differences transcended their physical appearances: some had straight hair, other curly, black skin, or blue eyes, etc… Most importantly, I was not aware of the concept that certain minorities could be discriminated against, and definitely didn’t recognize it could somehow affect (or rather was affecting) my life.

Things started to unravel later when my consciousness and common sense clashed in a sort of disbelief, then climaxed in high school where I finally met a bunch of people from different places, and who had lots of (preconceived) ideas, about lots of things, not unlike the people I had grown up with, amusingly… This lead me, over the years, not only to educated myself about these issues that pertained to my own identity and others, but also listen attentively and reflect on my own experiences as a Woman of a Culturally and Ethnically Rich Background (WCERB).

This social experiment led me to a few conclusions of my own:

Discriminations do exist, that is why it is important to be aware of them; but if you keep looking at something you will always find something you can read into as such even, when there is nothing.

For instance, if you’re on the road and you see a hole on the ground, upon acknowledging it, you have a few choices:

  • You could stop and complain how people are negligent, and how they don’t care about other’s safety, and on and on, and on… making a lot of noise, and not really doing much about it.
  • You could maneuver around it, minding your own business
  • You could contact the authorities, so the problem is addressed, and someone will eventually fix it
  • Or even better, get some cement and fill the opening, preventing accidents from happening.

You might also not know what a hole is, either because you have not been exposed or nobody knew about it, or everybody else had special shoes that protected them from falling. It might take a few fall and hurt before realizing what it is and now be aware.

These examples are pretty straight forward, and if you didn’t get it, I am just encouraging you raise awareness and pro-activity, if anything.

I feel blessed I was able to learn (the hard way), and I ended up realizing that most of these roads I was (am) strolling had already been paved before me. In the process of discovering, I blamed others and denounced their lack of sympathy and/or compassion, I avoided tackling issues enabling, as a result, certain behaviors around me, I have tried to get helped from others, and I have also been proactive. From experience, the last two have been the most effective.

Bottom line, it is human to feel negatively drained by injustices. But the real question is: what are you going to do about it? How do you face challenges?

Disclaimer: my ideas and opinions are subjected to change as I go through this beautiful thing we call life. You can help me shape my ideas by commenting and sharing your own perspective, as long as it is done in a respectful manner. I am looking forward to hearing from you!

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I can’t get no satisfaction…

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20140707-210116-75676595.jpg Although I do not miss my twenties, I religiously celebrate my 25th birthday’s annivers20140707-204126-74486773.jpgary every year; I jokingly do so as a reminder of an awesome time of my life when I didn’t care much about anything. I used to love the club! I think I was 16 the first time I had been in one, in my hometown. I wore a tight satin black pants and wear my hair in two braided buns like the girl in the “shimmy shimmy ya” video. The bouncer asked for our IDs, but we told him he saw it the previous week and we didn’t bring it again… Perplexed he let us in, and here we were: the “Saint James” — the rest is history… From Marseille to Paris to New York, I scandalously painted the towns with my respective crews. 20140707-204126-74486388.jpg From what I can remember it was epic. I think… cause in fact, there are some blurry parts. Like a lot… and no Instagram nor Facebook to document the shenanigans (thanks God!) . The sole, more or less accurate, recollections come from different sources – not to be necessarily trusted. 20140707-204126-74486578.jpgI wish I had kept a diary, tho. It might not have been very truthful, but at least I would have had a better timeline of events and I would be able to better deny my friends embarrassing claims! One told me recently that I had a selective memory, which I replied: I just have no memory mon cher… Nowadays, I rarely have that much fun when I go out. 20140707-204127-74487475.jpgI guess the novelty wore off, the crews dissipated, the events are not as 🔥hot🔥, the music became to loud, and I don’t even know that new Chris Brown song… Or I just have greater expectations, higher standards and i can’t get no satisfaction (Mick Jagger’s voice). Overall, club ain’t my cup of tea… Unless… it’s a house party. I have to say, I grew fond of the great conversations, debates, seeing people’s real face, comfortably-chic dress codes, networking opportunities, and of course music that do not depend on annoying horrible DJs! I guess I entered this next stage where having fun involve different things…. Nonetheless, the club will still keep a place in my heart. <3

 

Disclaimer: my ideas and opinions are subjected to change as I go through this beautiful thing we call life. You can help me shape my ideas by commenting and sharing your own perspective, as long as it is done in a respectful manner. I am looking forward to hearing from you!

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qAzqSYQ9X9U

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