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In Real Life

Sliding Doors    with Gwyneth Paltrow

Gwyneth Paltrow in Sliding Doors Image credit: Miramax

While Gwyneth Paltrow isn’t on my list of top 20 all-time favourite actors, over the years she has appeared in several roles that resonate with me, one of them being Helen in Sliding Doors. The movie tells the story of a woman who misses a train, resulting in parallel lives, one in which she discovers her partner’s infidelity; the other in which she doesn’t.

With what’s been happening in my life the past two and a half months, I confess, it’s comforting to envision a possible (and better), independent reality co-existing with my own.

In my parallel life, I work permanent part-time in a corporate library; own a two-bedroom condo with an ocean view; grow my freelance writing business by a new client every month; and take weekend trips to Bowen Island, Whistler and Victoria. This parallel universe is filled with adventure and possibility.

In real life, it seems as if everything is a struggle. Completing the simplest task is tantamount to climbing Mount Everest. The past month was a whirlwind of interviews, both face-to-face and telephone. I felt excited. And hopeful, for the first time in a long while. At last, things started to look up and something was bound to shake loose.

Then poof. All those wonderful possibilities became emotional liabilities. Banished back to Square Zero. The truth is, I’m not as strong, as confident, as fearless as I am in my parallel universe. In real life, I wake up to another day of baby steps.


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