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on love and loss…

Christopher David Ryan print

Christopher David Ryan print

Ever since Friday, I haven't had much to say on social media. After hundreds of innocent people lost their lives, I didn't have anything meaningful to say or share. With a few days now to process, I am ready to express a little bit of what’s going on in my head…

I don't normally talk about current events publicly—or at all, really. It’s kind of an inside joke among those who know me and love me is that I have no idea what is going on in the world. And, it’s mainly because most current events make me sad, angry, or fearful. But of course, things like this—what happened in Paris—I cannot ignore. I can’t always live in my bubble of peace and happiness as much as I really want to. Because it's about imagining that (just for a second) what happened in Paris on Friday could happen to any of us.

I lived in New York during 9/11 and was close enough to the World Trade Center when it fell to have seen people covered in crumbled debris running for their lives not knowing what was to come next. We all knew the world was changing, and we had no idea what was next. I know what it's like not to be able to get in touch with loved ones to tell them you're safe. I’ve felt the loss of a loved one suddenly without having the chance to say goodbye. I've felt these things and they are terrible and not something I wish upon anyone. But I am lucky to still be here to take these experiences with me and help them fuel my desire to live each day with more meaning, to hold my kids and my husband closer, to remind my parents how much I appreciate them, and to live without regrets.

I don't have any solutions for world peace. I wish I did. But what I can say is to just feel what you are feeling when sad things happen. If you want to help those in Paris (or any other country experiencing devastation of some sort), help however you can. Whether you help in physical ways, in financial ways, or you simply send all the energy and love that you have to give to complete strangers in another country—just do it. Because while those who were hurt might seem so far away to you, that could be any of us. And if it were me, just knowing that a ton of strangers were thinking of me and praying/hoping for peace in some way, I think I would find one tiny bit of comfort in that. 

While blogging about design or fashion feels trivial sometimes in the light of the bigger things that are often going on in the world, I continue to remind myself is that life is short and every day needs to be filled with what makes us happiest, with the people that make us happy, and with ways that we can enrich other people's lives. For me that's what I attempt to offer, and I will resume my happiness bubble tomorrow. But for now, I continue to feel sad for those people I don’t know and continue to hope for peace in any way possible.

{Print above by Christopher David Ryan}


  1. Joy Thanks for sharing your feelings about an event which is painful and sad for many. I’ll continue to hope and pray that people all over the world stay safe, happy & peaceful. Such events are heartbreaking and a constant reminder that life is so unpredictable and that we must really live in the moment and enjoy each others presence. May there be peace & happiness for all!

  2. Thank you for this post it means a lot (at least to me).
    It was a truly awful weekend and yet yesterday while walking the street of Paris at night it was still the most beautiful city and I did not wish to be anywhere else. Eventually we will find the strengh to go on and to keep going out with our friends and to have fun.
    I think the best way to show us your support is to keep visiting.

  3. I’m French and I do leave a block away from where the shootings occurred. Miraculously no one I know got hurt.
    I think now more than ever we should do silly stuff and beautiful things. For me that what life is about. And it is the only way to win.
    Thank you all for your thoughts <3

  4. Im glad your monday post reflected on Friday night’s violence. What happened in Paris affects us all and we have to acknowledge and show our compassion in every way. Ignoring it or disconnecting it from our lives seems so insensitive to me.
    Im surprised NO other blogs I follow have mentioned it (yet). They just carried on with their scheduled post:( You brought a much more human sensitivity and openness to your blog. Thank you!

  5. Hi Joy, what you’ve written here describes my sentiments exactly. I don’t comment too much about current affairs because I feel at a loss of what to say, amid such serious things that occur in the world we live in. Like you, I also believe in enjoying the little things as much as we can. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us.

  6. Thank you for momentarily stepping out of the happiness bubble to talk about the horrendous attacks in Paris. It is virtually unbearable to witness such pain and I can only hope that our thoughts, compassion and empathy help mend, in any tiny way, the broken hearts of all those affected. May the lovely happiness bubble you blow the oh joy soul and spirit into every day grow and grow to include us all.

  7. So beautifully stated. This tragedy unfortunately also brings me back to that frightful day in 2001, and I am scared once again… not knowing what the future holds, what kind of world we are leaving to our children. Live life to its fullest, with happiness and without regret–I will try.

  8. It’s so great to hear from a fellow peace and happiness bubbler — I too am definitely not the greatest with the news and also tend to know nothing about the world out there, but thank you for stepping out of that little bubble and saying such sweet words. You continue to be such a great role model.

  9. I know just what you mean. I felt overcome by this crushing sorrow and loss for anything to say – and even just feeling like my work was so trivial too. I felt irritated seeing tweets and instagram posts just going about business-as-usual without any acknowledgement of the pain and terror that was happening throughout the world. But I understood, too, that life continues to roll on… and life indeed needs to… and it needs, colour, brightness, happy spaces, creativity, love. Hoping and praying that those who lost their loved ones, can eventually find some peace, but I can’t imagine what they must be feeling.
    You’re a pretty amazing person, Joy, and I’m so glad you posted this because I think you echoed what so many of us are feeling. Love to you guys. xo

  10. Please, please, please, go on creating more and more beauty in a world that will always need it, and needs it now more than ever. Thank you so much for aknowledging and perfectly explaining what all of us feel here in France, but don’t stop your life, just pause it for a while, and keep on doing what you do (bloooog !!), but mindfully. You did that perfectly.
    I’d like to add: if you pray, pray for the hundreds of injured now between life and death, or for those who will be crippled for life. Then act – but Joy did that a few days ago, in her wonderful article about multiculturalism. I believe you can live in a thoughtful bubble – at least, I try.
    This blog has been a favorite of mine for some years now, and I have a feeling that’s not going to change anytime soon. Thank you.

  11. Thank you for writing these words. I’m French, and it means a lot to read them.
    Most American blogs I follow didn’t write anything about it – and while I understand that it didn’t affect them directly – I really really appreciate you posting about it today. Every thought and sign of support counts.

  12. I’ve kept my mouth shut social media-wise after friday. There’s just too much to say. I felt so sad that hundreds of innocent people lost their lives, literally people who did NOTHING. But then I felt so very guilty about the people in Beirut and Baghdad, and in Turkey, and Syria, and Afghanistan, people who see violence everyday and I mostly tune it out, violence which is the fault of the country that I live in.
    And then there is the complicated legacy of French colonialism and even very recent religious intolerance in France. I am not religious, but I think it is awful if people cannot where headscarves should they choose to as a part of their religion. It just makes it very complicated when you know the historical and current societal context of intolerance. And it’s difficult to talk about without seeming like you’re justifying the terrorist acts. But i’ll just say that plain and clear. Knowing the partial roots of unrest in no way justifies acts of violence, especially against innocents.
    But it’s a conversation that needs to be had, otherwise we go through the same cycle of horror and mourning, return to normalcy until the next tragedy possibly strikes. We have to at least try.

  13. This post was very moving and I am glad to see bloggers like you, touch on events like this. Moments like this are hard to deal with and they put so much into perspective, but it is good to bring them to light. Your thoughts hit home with me and made me feel inspired to continue pursuing my passions because life can be short and you never know what is ahead of you. I hope to see more personal perspectives like this from you in the future!


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