On my nightstand: Entre Nous

27th June 2009

Every year I read Entre Nous, A Woman’s Guide to Finding Her Inner French Girl, by Debra Ollivier. It’s one of my favorite books of all time – I’ve given it to all my friends over the years. It’s such a treat to read, leaving me refreshed and inspired every time I go through it.

166045Some favorite passages:

“There is also a lovely, dreamy paradox about the French girl, and it’s this: in having a strong sense of self, she’s able to let go of herself; that in being self-contained, she’s able to be vulnerable – all without unraveling at the seems.”

“Find your center and live there. Resist the pressure to be someone you’re not; instead, focus on fully developing who you are. Don’t get thrown off course by the prevailing winds of trend. Engage in the real, in-the-moment pleasure, not mindless entertainment. Feed your mind. Cultivate impressions and opinions. Know what you think.”

“Seize the moment or it will most definitely seize you.”

“Consider your life your personal currency – and invest it wisely.”

“She [the French girl] does not force today what can get done tomorrow. Time is relative: life is short, memories are long. To all things a season, quite literally.”

“Quality over quantity is not just about material things…The French girl would rather spend time alone than with people who simply fill a void.”

“If you stay true to yourself, you will always remain on track, even if that track takes you off the beaten path, to places you could not possibly imagine.”

“The French girl understands that sexy is a state of mind. Her relationship with food and her body is sensual, not tyrannical, and she takes pleasure in both. This may explain why the French are often preoccupied with food and sex, and Anglo-Saxons with work and money.”

“Where the American girl uses clothes to conceal and feels mercilessly exposed without them, the French girl flaunts her form and is the same person whether fully dressed or buck naked.”

“Never apologize for who you truly are.”

“Cultivate friendships instead of collecting them. Deepen and clarify existing relationships before adding new ones. Go slowly in getting to know someone, allowing the friendship to unfold rather than burst into bloom.”

“…we Anglo-Saxons might know how to make a living, but the French girl knows how to have a life.”

“Invest in your work life but strive for a balance. Remember that work is something that you do, not who you are. Don’t try to manage time; you can only manage what you choose to do with your time. Accept the natural human tendency to flirt and flatter. If an office romance blooms, let it tend to itself. But keep it to yourself, too.”

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