Settling In

Sigh of relief…I am finally back at St. Mary’s, unpacked and almost fully settled into my new home – a townhouse on the Greens overlooking the beautiful waterfront, where the sun shines brilliantly each morning and then retreats slowly over the river, casting a soft, hazy glow over the whole campus. It’s peaceful, quiet, and above all, beautiful. My room is sparse at the moment, a reflection of my hasty packing and insufficient time/motivation to really decorate, but I have managed to use some of my Parisian remnants to add a certain flair to the room…

Top to bottom: my French dictionary given to me by my aunt, "Apollo's Angels" by Jennifer Homans (a history of ballet), Vogue Paris Dec. 2010/Jan. 2011, Numero #119 (another French fashion magazine), British Vogue, Rolling Stone from Nov. 2009 (Shakira was on the cover, I couldn't resist)

My French fashion magazines are probably my greatest triumph: the fact that they made it home safely without being completely destroyed – including the Vogue Paris 2011 calender featuring Daria Werbowy in nothing but lingerie and Louis Vuitton jewels – is nothing short of a miracle. “Apollo’s Angels” was given to me for Christmas, along with “Coco Chanel: The Life and the Legend”, which I already finished – I cannot wait to dig into it: the New York Times bestseller is a history of ballet and was written by a former ballet dancer, which gives it more vibrance than your average historical novel.

New year, new goals...

My other favorite addition is this lovely little frame (and cheap, it was only $10 at Target) in which I put my goals for 2011. I was inspired during my first yoga class of the new year, and took from it three words I wanted to embody: strength, balance, and stability. Just like my yoga poses! Keeping them on my desk is a nice way to constantly remind myself what I’m aiming for this year, and for the long term in general. So far I’ve been very good about water and yoga, and I don’t doubt that I will be able to keep it up.

My three favorite pieces of jewelry: two pair of pearl earrings that were my mothers (the larger ones with rhinestones underneath were the ones she wore in her wedding) and a Tiffany Bean necklace. Adorable decorations when left lying around...

My everyday jewelry, which I have managed to hold on to – miraculously – through the summer and all through my journey in Paris, is a lovely little addition when I leave it lying there. Both pairs of earrings were my mother’s, and are the most important pieces of jewelry I own. The silver Tiffany Bean necklace was given to me by a friend on the day that all of my jewelry and belongings were stolen last spring. I like to leave them out on my desk not only for aesthetics but because they are important to me.

My pet bamboo

Perhaps my favorite addition to my room’s decor is the bamboo plant given to me by my sister for my birthday. The pot has a little elephant on it (you can see it in the background of the jewelry photo), and the leaves are green and luscious looking. The best part is the stone in the pot, at the base of the plant, that says, “What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?” What a great way to motivate myself!

Settling in has taken a while, and the adjustment is definitely difficult, but I feel at home again. Paris, as Hemingway said, is a moveable feast – it goes with you wherever you go, and you can enjoy it no matter where you are in the world. So even on the banks of the St. Mary’s River, I feel a little piece of Paris with me.

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