April in Paris: Lorraine in her tasteful black jacket blended in with natives and tourists alike, all obeying some unwritten rule that permitted only black outerwear. We joked that if we got separated in a crowd, Lorraine would easily find me. Me, in my famous pink raincoat, wandering through the icy drizzle and slick streets of the City of Light, looking like an oversized bottle of Pepto-Bismol, feeling like an experiment with barbe à papa (cotton candy) run amok.
And yet: Despite my fashion faux pas, that coat suited perfectly my mood on that trip, and in that season. I’d just untethered myself from the corporate world, with no idea what I’d do next. With my collar turned up against the chill, I wore my heart on a bright pink sleeve, falling in love with the uncertainty of it all. Ma vie, en rose.
Eileen Cunniffe has been writing nonfiction for 35 years—but the first 25 were without the benefit of a byline, as a medical writer, corporate communications manager and executive speechwriter. Her essays have appeared in journals such as Hippocampus Magazine, Ascent, Superstition Review, Stone Voices, Lowestoft Chronicle and Philadelphia Stories. Three of her essays have been recognized with Travelers’ Tales Solas Awards and another received the Emrys Journal 2013 Linda Julian Creative Nonfiction Award. Eileen also writes newswires as a citizen journalist for The Nonprofit Quarterly. She holds a BA in English and Honors from Villanova University, and an MS in Organizational Dynamics from the University of Pennsylvania. Read more at: www.eileencunniffe.com.