Seven Letters from Paris by Samantha Vérant is the book that unashamedly brought me into 2015. It is almost exactly as it sounds:
soppy, sentimental and annoyingly delightful.
It’s description, despite charming, would typically lead it from mine, into the hands of my friend. She’s a girl who dreams of bumping into a guy in
Central Park whilst running her own flower shop. It’s a lovely dream, she’s a lovely girl, but both need to be brought down to earth on the odd occasion.
This book floats in fantasy skies, the same ones I very often avoid, unless they have to do with world peace. Like any girl however, get me in the right
mood, turn on the right chick flick or in this case, set me up with one that’s soon-to-be, and my heart too will find it’s way to France. More specifically
to a guy, a scooter and an achingly beautiful accent – all things you’ll find in Seven Letters. I will share with you one quote, and then recommend that
even the cynics read it, because if love exists, it has never existed quite so rhythmically as it does in this book (so much so that it makes you sad).
The quote goes like this, “God needed seven days to create the world, so maybe I will need more than seven letters to build something as great as world
creation is with you.” Perhaps if guys shouted this out of their car windows, I too would come up with a response more kind than the finger to their
Let’s move on. After Seven Letters from Paris, I was prepared to learn something a little bigger than the sad state of my love life (it’s not you, Samantha,
it’s me). I mean, if it was non-existent before the book, it was a bloody crumb after. A star to be seen only through squinting – just to appear as a satellite.
So more recently I picked up Playing Big by Tara Mohr. I figured before looking at or for someone else, I should take some time to look at myself.
Again, I’d describe it as painfully enchanting. Firstly, to find out I’d been shooting myself in the foot: painful. The next bit could be the same for you.
Luckily, Tara comes well-equipped with solutions to counteract our actions. You see, absent-mindedly, we’ve been undermining ourselves, and
our ideas. Just take a group situation. Our suggestions are so often filled with maybes, and kind ofs, and perhaps’. These words which defeat the
strength of an idea, singlehandedly defeating the confidence we have in ourselves too. We avoid sharing our ideas with the fear they might be
judged, ridiculed, or rejected. We convince ourselves that the idea isn’t worthwhile anyway, or rather, we don’t have the right to share it.
That we need to work our way up, then we might consider speaking in the same direction.
There are times when I’m writing, and I’ll be talking about something I’ve learnt, or an idea I believe in. I’ll delete a whole paragraph, with one thought
in mind: What do I possibly know about (insert topic here)? The snowball effect is never tardy in following. It goes something like this: I bet there are
a million other blogs talking about this. I bet they’re saying it better. I’m not qualified to write about this. What am I qualified to write about? What do
I even know about writing? Do I even write right? Is there a specific way to write?
It’s questions like these that drag me away from doing what I love – writing, sharing. It’s only when I stand up to speak again that I realise how long it is
that I’ve been quiet. Tara sheds new light upon the situation. She says we won’t succeed to the extent capable of us, in work, in love or in any other aspect
of our lives, in fact, if we are constantly held back by self-questioning and self-doubt. This idea can be related to almost everything we do. She advises
we make an effort to remove any words that do nothing but take up space. If we’ve got an idea, let’s choose to share it, and let’s be confident in doing
so. Let’s not consider ourselves unworthy or unqualified because of who we are, where we’ve been or where we yet haven’t. Because in having opinion,
in existing as a human being of thoughts and taste, and experience and imagination, we are worthy and we are qualified. The only way to become
more so, is in starting somewhere.
What’s stuck in my head since reading these two books is this. First, we must have faith in our own ideas. Then, maybe others
(a french man with a scooter and an accent included) might see sense in them too.