One evening, when my boyfriend came home from work, he found me on his sofa, wrapped up in a fuzzy blue blanket in front of my laptop with watery eyes.
"Tell me my life will not be like Les Misérables!" I sniffled.
"No, your life will not be like Les Misérables," he said, hanging up his coat, "You need to stop watching that trailer."
"Tell me that everything will be okay!" I insisted.
"Everything will be okay. It will all work out."
"That's what Fantine thought," I pointed out, "She thought everything would be okay. But then she ended up in prison! And had to sell her hair! And became a prostitute!" I started sobbing at the thought of having my hair lopped off with a dull razor.
Perhaps I was being a tad overdramatic, but it's certainly scary to imagine that life will only continue getting worse and worse like Fantine's did.
After nearly three years since breaking off a five-and-a-half year relationship, I feel like I'm still in recovery mode--not emotionally, just in the get-my-life-back-on-track sense. But, honestly, what is there to do but to cry a little, laugh a little, and keep going?
The life of a paper bag princess is a dichotomy, but it's one that's purely circumstantial. It's a momentary fall from grace; a bump in the road. It's that scary what's-gonna-happen-to-me state when you're in-between jobs or when you've just broken up a long-term relationship. Whatever it is, it causes you to do a major financial readjust to the system.
For example, to the outside world, you might be carrying a Chanel handbag (that was purchased at 90% off at a sample sale eight years ago) around town, but, little do they know, because of your strict budget, you make your own lunch at home. Or, you're treated to a fabulous lunch at The Plaza by a friend but, instead of supping at Cipriani's for dinner, you find yourself heating up a can of soup. It's a yin-yang way of life that you've somehow come to accept. At least for a while until you can figure things out.
Try this one for size: I was recently invited to go on an all expenses paid press trip to Gran Velas Riviera Nayarit, an all-inclusive 5-star resort in Puerto Vallarta next week. But, guess what? I haven't secured a job yet! Imagine getting emails asking you to pick your preference of luxurious spa treatments and off-site adventures while you're simultaneously scouring the Internet for jobs. Oh, the irony.
You can't be a paper bag princess forever, though. This is impossible if you're smart and willing, and full of hopeful, positive energy. The coin will turn. The coin has to turn.