Julia Child Knows You Have to Start Somewhere
Julia Child has been my idol forever. A few years ago, I was as having one of my “I have accomplished nothing in the past year; I am a loser” moments. I wasn’t working on anything, I felt stuck and frustrated. So I went to a movie.
My choice of movie was related to two of my three passions (books, cooking, and religion): Julie and Julia, written and directed by Nora Ephron, based on the book and blog, of the same name, by Julie Powell, and memoir of Julia Child My Life in France.
I loved the film. I'd read Julie and Julia when it first came out in hardback, driven by my love of all things Julia Child and a curiosity to learn just how one woman (Julie Powell) changed her life.
By the end of the film, I found myself thrilled for both women portrayed in the film, inspired, and even tearful in a happy way. As I left the theatre I knew that I'd write about the experience and even began composing an essay on how the film underscored the importance of perseverance: Julia Child's eight year odyssey to complete, revise, and publish Mastering the Art of French Cooking and Julie Powell's in managing to cook all 524 recipes in 365 days.
Then I thought that its message was also about success. How, in the case of Julia Child, it took years of unrequited toil, and in Julie Powell's life, the success of her blog was quickly followed by a book contract and then a movie deal. Lottery-winning success by comparison.
In the end, however, what it came down to was this: Just Start!
Whether you are unknowingly changing the face of American home cookery on the energy of your passion for French cooking or changing your life by spending a year cooking from that book, the key to a successful life begins with the resolution to do something. And then the resolution to get up the next day and every day after and do something again and again and again.
Whatever you choose should be a source of joy and passion. Otherwise, you will not have the energy to continue the pursuit when the first joy-filled days become years.
No, there are no guarantees that they will someday make a film about your pursuit. But from the look on Julia Child's face in Meryl Streep's portrayal and in every photo I've seen, doing something with passion brings its own rewards.
Reflecting on your life, what activity has brought you the greatest joy? Can you imagine turning this into your dream? What first step, could you take today to make this dream a reality?
This essay was originally published in God Loves Your Dream, a book of inspirational essays. Get your copy on Amazon.com.