Wednesday, January 06, 2010

A Pilgrimage of Sorts

Like many people I saw the movie Julie and Julia.
For anyone who blogs, the story is pretty amazing. A woman, Julie Powell, decides to embark on a plan to cook her way through on of Julia Childs' cookbooks in a year, and blogs her experience. Her blog documents both her cooking and her life, and the blog eventually takes on a life of its own, and Julie ends up not only with a book deal, but also with a movie about her life (and Julia Child's life).
Inspiring, no?
To me, it was. Let's be honest, this blog isn't one of the big blogs, nor have I ever aspired to make it that way. It's just my space to write and talk about what's on my mind. And I'm fine with that. But what inspires me about Julie's story is the life changing aspect, and the belief that if you are motivated and want to change your life you can - if you figure out what you want to do and do it.
But to me, it was more than that. As weird as this sounds, I could totally relate to Julie Powell (the author, more than the movie character)

A couple of months ago I was getting my nails done and I picked up a magazine at the nail salon. I happened upon a a story written by her. It was actually an excerpt from her new book Cleaving.
I could not put the magazine down, and pretty much ran to the bookstore to pick up the book.
Admittedly she's come under a LOT of criticism for her book. Where Julie and Julia was a story, particularly in the movie, that was lighthearted and fun and inspiring, Cleaving is far far different.
The book claims to be about meat, marriage and obsession. And it really is. The book documents her life becoming a butcher, and somehow manages to tie in the affair she had and her obsessive nature about pretty much everything. And, the book is GRAPHIC, people. Graphic. It's not a book I'm going to pass on to my mom or many of my friends who I usually share books with.
But ... Cleaving, more than Julie and Julia, and more than pretty much any book I've read in ages, made me understand a lot about life. I don't mean to sound like a downer here, but the truth of life is that there isn't always a perfect ending to stuff. We all have dreams and goals and hopes and have an idea about how life is supposed to work out. And, sometimes, even when we get what we want, life isn't perfect.
Maybe it's just me, but sometimes I feel that even when I get what I want, when I work for something and don't attain it, I still want more. I need more direction, I have higher hopes. When Julie talks about marriage (we can skip the affair part for sake of my argument) she makes some pretty good points. Marriage isn't always the perfect little bubble you expect it to be when you recite your vows. It's work, and it's hard and somedays you cling to the fact that you love each other, even when the liking part isn't exactly happening. Hey, she calls her husband a saint, and I can say the same about Mike. He puts up with a lot from me because he loves me. And, we work things out and know that when things are tough (like you know, having a 5 1/2 year old with ADHD who needs new medication and a toddler who won't sleep and has decided to potty train herself) sometimes you just love each other and agree to brush the stupid stuff under the carpet and, you know, go to Disney World.
The point is, I have fully and completely embraced Julie's message. I kind of love her. Critics be damned.
So, I could just simply say that, move on, and whatever.
But, hello. This is me. And I don't do that. I don't just say wow, good book, moving on. Nope. I always feel the need to take some action.
And here's my plan.
Feel free to weigh-in on the craziness of it.
I have decided I'm going to go meet her. For real. The problem is this. She lives in New York, and her book signings are in places that are nowhere near where I am (Toronto). Also, book signings are one thing. But, I feel that traveling to New York to stand in line for hours (I would assume - she has fans, you know) to say hi for 30 seconds ... Really?
So, I have planned a road trip - Laural style.
I'm going to go to New York. And, I'm going to take my own little Julie and Julia/Cleaving pilgrimage. Seriously. I figure I'll take the bus down, and rent a car or something, maybe get a transit pass (though I have driven in NY) and go to all the places she mentions in her book. Well, not everything. But the important things like the butcher shop and you know, other key locations. Just because.
And while I'm at it I'm pretty determined to meet her. Not in a stalker way though. Just in a super-fan kind of way. I'm not quite sure to hook that one up, but where's there's a will there is a way. Right?
Maybe a little. But, I also figure that she was a huge Julia Child fan, and probably wouldn't think it's that weird. Also, she totally was driven to do what she did - embark on butchery, write books, go on trips, etc etc. I think she'd get it. I really do.
Also. This is just classic me. When am I at my best? When I have something to look forward to. A goal, even if it seems impossible, that I can put my mind to and accomplish. Part of me is scared that this is dumb, or ultimately that if I do meet her she won't like me. But, hey. Why would that happen? What's not to like? Hah! Do I think she'll somehow give me purpose in life. Well, not really. But, I do think she's cool. And what's to lose? Not much.
So, that. That is my true resolution.
What do you think? Anyone have any great ideas on how I can accomplish this?


AmyH said...

I think that is AWESOME! Having never been to NYC and having heard about it from you, I have no doube getting there and getting around will be a cinch (relatively speaking). And I think it's cool you have decided to make a pilgrimage. I should do something similar for Martha. Always inspiring Laural! You rock!

Marcy Berg said...

Would love to be taking that trip with you!

PhatDaddy said...

Well.. A saint? Well, that made me smile.

Megabus! But really.. Even if you don't get to meet her, at least you can see NY for a day or two!