There are places that you visit often, places that over the course of years remain the same, no matter how much change you go through yourself. They become a comforting little cocoon where you know that everything will feel the same, from the food you eat to the music and announcements you hear on the loudspeakers, to your favourite spot by the window. 

The Barnes and Nobles in the ever-evolving Downtown Bethesda is one of those places that hasn't changed a bit since I've started going there very frequently in my high school years, and still visit at least once a week today (if not every evening). It is the reason why it is still my favourite spot to write, no matter how many "cooler" indie bookshops, coffee shops and shared work spaces exist in DC. 

My life, however, has changed, taking yet again an unexpected, wonderful, and crazy fun turn. It's so funny, thinking of it, how quickly things swung in a different direction. On Labour Day, I was having a barbecue with family and friends in the garden, enjoying delicious fillet and still dealing with a bit of melancholia because my aunt, her husband and my cousin had gone back to Lebanon after visiting for a few weeks. 

In the hours that followed, I received, rather unexpectedly, a wonderful job offer. And the next few weeks were such a complete whirlwind that I can't believe only a month has passed when the summer memories feel like a different lifetime. 

So now, aside from being an (aspiring) novelist and lifestyle blogger, I am wearing yet another hat, that of French teacher. And I love it. I truly love it. I feel like I am finally getting to make an intellectual contribution to the world, and to develop a deeper side of me, a counterpart to the light, fun, and slightly futile lifestyle blogger etiquette. In other words, it totally makes it okay to love shoes so much.

Adapting to my new schedule is a little bit tough, but to tell you the truth, I'm loving it. Being so busy makes me appreciate moments of stillness, such as sipping my coffee in the morning, taking a shower, or sitting in traffic while listening to classical music, even more. I'm also finding it a relief that at the end of a very productive day, I am too tired to experience my dreaded insomnia and stay up in bed without being able to push away stressful or negative thoughts (or worse, being on my phone at 3AM!). When I get home now, I pour myself a whisky on the rocks, I spend time with my cousins if they're still awake, I take a bubble bath and watch a little bit of Netflix before sleeping... Or I just get home, take off my clothes, forget to remove my make-up and fall asleep immediately.

And, to tell you the truth, I think I'm enjoying blogging now more than ever. I'm no longer spending my days in a coffee shop and looking at the dreaded blank page, waiting for inspiration to strike. Inspiration comes all the time, in the form of stories I hear, impressions I get, smells, colours, feelings, paintings, posters, music, or even clothes that my students and colleagues are wearing. 

This said, last month was a period of adjustment when it came to the blog and my new schedule. But thanks to our new wonderful contributors, this adjustment is easier than I expected, and it feels wonderful to see this blog expand and to have a small, new, but strong team to work with. You've already gotten to know the talented Diane, who writes a weekly dating and relationship column. Next week, we'll be meeting Elise, a French artist whose work you've already seen, as she created the illustration for Diane's post on U-Hauling!

There are many more exciting things coming to the blog, and I can't wait to share them with you!

Meanwhile, October is here and Halloween is in the air... My favourite time of the year to walk around Downtown Bethesda in between writing sessions, taking comfort in the old and joy in the new. 



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