Sunday, 18 November 2012

Born To Fly

Hopeful  8     Hopeless 2

I was thinking about this song by Sara Evans after my date with Amin.  I had never quite understood it properly, I realized.  "How can you keep your feet on the ground when you know you were born to fly?" the song asks.  I thought it was about accomplishing great things in life (flying) and also talked about that feeling of being stuck or weighed down by life's obstacles (feet on the ground).

The rest of the song is clearly about romance.  I had just not understood the full message before.  To be in love is to fly.  Certainly I felt like I was at the very least floating the entire weekend.  The hopeful-hopeless count reflects how I was feeling on that Friday night.  When I got home, I was positively bursting.  I wanted to gush about the date to anyone who would listen to me.  I was so charged.  It turns out that my Dad was still up, so since I didn't want to talk about it in front of him, I didn't get to tell my mother and sister right away.  I rushed to my computer and found Stella online.  I was so glad she was there and began typing more or less coherently about the highlights of the date.  I babbled about banana bread and holding hands ("I haven't held a guy's hand in 7 years!").  She said things like: "that's so sweet" and "sounds like a very nice date".  It was.  It was so nice, I thought I would never be able to sleep.

The next day, I caught myself smiling a lot.  I was trying to do my school work, but I was distracted.  It was a bit like dreaming.  Scenes of Friday night replayed themselves in my mind.  I had a pervasive good feeling that lasted through Sunday.  I kept trying to come down and finding it a challenge.  In one of those e-mails we had exchanged during the week before our date, Amin had said something about the second meeting as "seeing if there is a spark", but importantly that this should be accomplished "with a clear head".  My head was definitely not clear; it was in the clouds. 

So, I found myself at last faced with the question from the song: How could I keep my feet on the ground?  I wondered how I possibly could, when I knew I could fly.  How could I remain objective and fair?  Amin and I were once again on the same page about this: we wanted our feet firmly on the ground, so I tried not to be swayed by or entirely swept away by the blissful feeling of flight.  With difficulty, I managed to come back down because the desire to be cautious and sensible was stronger.  It was my personality and the choices I wanted for myself that won against my emotions.  You could no longer call me unbiased, but I was still making my best effort to remain objective.  The harsh reality of a Monday morning is always sobering; this is what truly helped me to come back to myself and be grounded again.  

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Small but Noteworthy

Hopeful 8  Hopeless 2

The inspiration for this post is from something that happened to me today.  I thought I would relate this small anecdote for you.  I find it is good to notice such moments in one's day, because it helps you to focus on something positive.  Sometimes we forget the small or simple things, so I thought this was noteworthy.

I was taking the bus this morning as usual to get to class.  As it pulled up, I stood back as per my usual habit and let everyone get on before me.  However, there was this older gentleman who put out his hand to signal for me to go ahead of him.  I repeated the gesture and said, "Allez-y."  He said, more emphatically, "Allez-y, allez-y!", urging me to get on the bus before he did: "Allez-y mademoiselle!".  With such a polite deference to me, I could hardly refuse.  I smiled and thanked him as I stepped onto the bus.  For those of you who believe that no one has respect or manners anymore, take the time to notice the people who do: they are out there!  Part of being hopeful is being attentive to and recognizing the small things in life.

** Now for any readers who feel like I am procrastinating, I sincerely apologize!  I promise not to get side-tracked anymore and to get directly back to relating the adventures of my dating project.  I will update soon to get you up to speed on what came after my date with Amin. 

Saturday, 3 November 2012

Remember When It Rained

Hopeful  9    Hopeless 1

I wanted to write this post in remembrance of a beautiful afternoon spent with Giles one year ago today.  It was a Thursday in which something incredible and extraordinary took place, taking me completely by surprise.  I had mentioned this "magical moment" briefly in another post and promised I would tell this story.  I cannot think of a better time than today to relate it.  

It was the end of a long day.  I'd had a morning class, then an afternoon exam.  Giles finished at the same time as I did and we walked out of the classroom together.  We talked a bit about the exam as we took the elevator down from the 8th floor.  We each opened our own door, side by side, to exit the building.  At that point, I wondered whether he would be taking the metro that day.  He continued walking with me, so I asked and he said, "I'm coming with you."  I was in luck.

It was raining when we left the University.  I remembered that rain had been in the forecast.  I was not bothered in the slightest because I had a rain jacket and my hair could hardly look more décoiffé at the end of a long day in any case.  Giles, however, did not have a raincoat, so he needed an alternative; he quickly deployed a black umbrella.

As we walked back, we began talking about our common passion for languages.  The conversation was very pleasant, comfortable and natural.  It is not everyday that I find someone with whom I can have an intellectual conversation or with whom I can get along so well.  We were both sharing on a pretty equal level, though Giles has been studying longer than I have.  He is always so good at validating people, making them feel like they have something important and smart to say.  That is one of the things I love about him.

Halfway to the metro, we were chatting away, waiting for the traffic light to change.  I hardly felt the rain anymore, but since we were standing still, I could clearly see that it was still coming down.  That is when I thought to look at the umbrella.  I lifted my gaze very discretely to ascertain the position of the umbrella.  That is when I realized that the umbrella was also covering me.  We were both under it.

I was so stunned, I hardly knew what to think.  A thousand and one emotions were running through me.  I felt like screaming, "OH MY GOD!  For the first time in my entire life, a guy is sharing his umbrella with me!!!"  I don't know how, but I managed to keep myself under control, maintain a normal tone of voice and stay calm and focused enough to follow the conversation.

When we got to the metro, Giles opened and held the door for me.  He had clearly not finished amazing me yet.  It is a small gentlemanly kindness that you don't see so much anymore because society or women say that we can open our own doors in life (which I generally subscribe to myself) or because men just aren't the way they used to be.  As a general rule, this sort of thing is not impressive to me, but every once in awhile, holding the door for me will really touch me.  It was like that on this day.  On the escalator down, I began to feel calmer.  This is Giles' amazing power; he not only has the great ability to make everyone feel at ease and comfortable as soon as they are near him, but also to make them feel good about themselves.  The positive energy he exudes is incredible and impossible not to be affected by.

Giles began to head towards the stairs to the platform to catch the metro.  I stopped at the top and he did the same.  We spoke for a few moments until he remembered that I took the metro in the opposite direction.  We decided not to block the stairs and moved to one side.  He was still talking and didn't seem ready to stop.  He was standing a little bit closer to me than usual, as he had while we were walking, presumably to keep me under the umbrella.  I felt him hesitating.  It seemed he did not want to go.  I did not want him to go either.  As I wondered whether I was imagining things, he became quiet.

At length, he said, "I think that's my metro."  Then he said bye and that he would see me next week.  "In two weeks," I corrected him.  "It's reading week."  He acknowledged that I was right.  My heart had lodged itself in my throat and I felt it choking me.  I couldn't speak because I couldn't imagine not seeing him for two weeks.  I said goodbye and walked across to the opposite platform.

The entire way home, I thought about what had just transpired.  I felt convinced that as soon as I set foot out of the University, I had walked straight out of my own life and directly into a scene from a movie.  It was so much more like a film than my own life; these things never happened to me!  Whenever did a guy share his umbrella with me?  Impossible!  Yet, it was true.  It was such a surreal feeling.  It was one of those moments when time slowed and I was fully in the moment, able to appreciate all the wonderful things in life.  If it had been a movie, this scene would surely have ended in a kiss; by that time, however, it was reverting back to my life, where such things simply do not happen.

It was then that I understood that Giles had given me something wonderful.  I knew that no matter what happened in my life afterwards, it would never be the same.  My life would be better and I would be better for that experience and that no one could ever take it away from me, that beautiful afternoon in the rain.  Words can hardly describe how wonderful Giles made me feel.  For the first time, in a long time, I felt Hopeful.  I felt hopeful about romantic possibilities, about life, about everything.  My hopeful-hopeless count today reflects how I felt a year ago today.

That is the wonderful gift that you gave me, Giles & I thank you from the bottom of my heart!

~ Elise  

Friday, 2 November 2012

One Thousand

Hopeful  8   Hopeless  2

I see today that my pageview counter has just pushed over one thousand views!  This is simply incredible.  When I began this blog, I had no idea that it could generate this kind of interest!  Thank you for reading :)  Thank you especially to all my international readers; I continue to be amazed each week as more countries pop up on my pageview counter.

I have a lot of posts still to write to catch up.  Life has been keeping me busier than expected, so that is why I have been slow to update my blog.  Thank you for your continued patience and hope to post again soon!

Stay Hopeful,