Article by Meredith Keeve a.k.a. The Wandering Parisian
France, and particularly French women – of a certain age – give us valuable insight, and set useful examples of how to tackle the health, wealth or emotional challenges of the years ahead.
French culture is very strong, and French history an important factor in French life, and this history includes a very rugged streak of individualism, a kind of refusal to accept, a desire to fight for the things you believe in (welcome to the strikes we all know about!). France’s most iconic women from Simone de Beauvoir to Catherine Deneuve or Jeanne Moreau have all been completely independent thinkers, each one – in a sense – happily selfish, making sure her choices and desires came first before, and possibly instead of, social acceptance or approval.
Now is your time to think about you: your needs, and desires. How do we fulfill our potential and realize our dreams at this time in life?
So lets take a page from the French and learn to be Superbly Selfish!
How to be EGOISTE:
Reflect and Select: you choose what you want to have in your life, not only in terms of objects, but in terms of goals, experiences and individuals.
The reality is if you do not specifically choose how you spend your time and money both will simply be swept away in the rotation of the earth and the passing of the seasons. The very greatest talent of the French may be their ability to DISCERN, to determine and yes, JUDGE that some things are simple preferable to others.
So, let’s learn to be selective, picky if you prefer, and definitely discerning.
Make a list – not a bucket list, and certainly not a to-do list, but a Select list. A list that starts something like –
“I select “:
To learn to play bridge
To read a book every month
You select. You select what you want to have in your life. And then, and here is the hard part: you need to reject the people, commitments, or objects that are preventing you from realizing those desires or making those choices.
Ingredients are the key
Just as we expect a French woman to select the ingredients for her dinner in the most snobbish, elitist, demanding way, it’s important to realize that this formula extends to all her choices.
She selects the ingredients for her closet in the same discerning way. The best trench, the best black trouser, the best red cocktail dress, the best lingerie.
French women are renowned for their style, and in its most fundamental element, French style is about choices. Specifically choosing each piece that goes into your closet; that goes on to your body; that creates your look.
She is worth it, why would she settle for less?