Friday, February 26, 2010

What I Was Looking For

I'm back from a whirlwind trip to New York.
Maybe this is a bit cliche, but the trip was life changing.
If you haven't been following here, let me explain. I read the book Cleaving by Julie Powell. She made me look at life differently. She made me appreciate that life is messy and we need to embrace it.
I read about
 Cover of "Cleaving: A Story of Marriage, ...
Then after reading Cleaving I joined Julie's fanbook page and I found out that she was speaking at the Manhattan JCC. She was speaking with Gretchen Rubin of the Happiness Project. So, I bought the book, which is amazing as well, and long story short, I decided that I needed to meet Julie. Because what makes me truly happy
Cover of "The Happiness Project: Or, Why ...
So, I booked a trip and went to New York.
Everyone was pretty amazing about it. Instead of being called crazy words like brave and amazing were used, and all of that melted my heart. You guys are amazing.
I decided to not only go to the speaking engagement, but also try to visit some of the places Julie talks about in her book. The place that was her solace was a butcher shop called Fleishers. As it turns out, this place has become quite famous. As it turns out, they are rockstar butchers. Who knew there was such a thing as a rockstar butcher. There is. 
So, off I went to Fleishers to see what it was all about. And they gave me a tour. Okay, I realized how off that sounds. But I was fascinated by the tour. And then they let me watch them cutting meat. Again, hard to explain unless you're in my head. But I had to do it. I had to understand this essential part of the book. As it turns out it was amazing. But, thankfully for all involved, I'm far more insterested in eating meat than butchering it. I'm good with that.
So, I left Fleishers around lunch time, and made my way back to Manhattan. I did a bunch of touristy stuff and then the big event happened.
Julie and Gretchen spoke with a moderator. Amazing. And then I was able to meet Julie.
Not the best picture of me. But let's all focus on Julie. Look how beautiful she is. Stunning and lovely.
The next day I just had a New York day. I went to Century 21, of course. And I got some lovely shoes. I also saw Ground Zero.  And tried to guess which building Julie worked in while writing Julie and Julia. And, I'm positive I passed it cause I got thoroughly lost looking for the store. Funny side note - 3 people asked me for directions yesterday. I pulled out my maps to help them. But it was funny since I was lost.
After Century 21 I stopped at Canal Street and got a Rolex for Mike. And some Chanel for me. (real, of course).
My final stop? Republic. This is where Julie drank gimlets. You can bet I had one. It was delicious. So so so good.
And I had a delicious lunch. Which I ate with chopsticks. And let me tell you several people helped me out with the chopsticks thing.
And then I had a lovely conversation with a woman a little younger than me. We talked about life, and chopsticks, and everything you can imagine. It was a moment that just happened. She was at the beginning of a journey. She wanted to write and follow her dreams. And, we talked about it. When I was leaving she said something to me that will always stick with me. She said: "Whatever you have found that brings you this joy - that's what I'm looking for."
That ended my trip.
It was a beautiful note to leave on.
And a pretty much perfect trip.
Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

LIVE from New York

Tonight I met Julie Powell.
Can you absorb that? Julie. Julie who I talk about all the time. Julie of "Juliequest 2010."
I don't need to go into the story. If you've followed me for awhile you know about this. And guys, tonight was amazing.
Remember when I said "live better than you dare?"
That's what today has been about.
In my last post I said I needed this and it's hard to explain how I feel. The truth is, I needed this experience. I needed to tell Julie what her book meant to me. And I did.
Of course I cried. Of course. I didn't mean to.
I went to hear her speak at the Manhattan JCC. And it was amazing.
And the thing is, Julie was amazing. She got it.
I know Julie Powell is THE Julie of Julie and Julia. But, really, it doesn't matter. I'm glad she had that success. Or maybe I wouldn't have heard of her. Maybe she wouldn't have written Cleaving. Maybe she woulnd't have given us all the message that Life is Messy, but we still have to keep going on living it and loving it and loving each other.
Fame is great. And I applaud her success.
But it's more than that.
I've been trying to explain this trip to people. To explain why I needed to do this alone.
It's not about whether I'm happy or not. It's not about meeting a celebrity. It's about believing that in life there's something important.
It's about knowing that there is this wonderful part about our existence that is confusing and complicated. But there's joy in every day.
It was funny because tonight was better than I had hoped.
I had hoped that I would be glean something from the experience. That I would leave understanding something.
What I got was so much more.
I had the chance to thank her for her work. And, you guys, she came over and gave me a hug. She got up from where she was sitting, at the front of a big audience. There was a room full of people who wanted to get their books signed, and to ask her questions, and she came over and gave me a hug. And thanked me for what I said.
There are moments when your heart just feels full.
When you feel like someone understands.
It doesn't mean life is perfect.
I have no idea what tomorrow will bring. Honestly, there are storm warnings in New York and I don't even know if I will get home tomorrow.
But, what I know. What I left knowing is that life is a journey. And that there are some awesome people who make that journey so unbelievably incredible.
Julie is one of those people.
And life, right now, is just so good.
You know, I read her book. I visited Fleishers. And there are a few more stops I want to make tomorrow to see what she talks about in her books.
But, I know one thing for sure. This is my journey. And I'm loving it. And living it.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

New York

Tonight I leave for New York.
I'm spending 2 days in New York. Just me.
I need this.
There are no expectations on my part. Not really. Yes, it's being referred to as "Juliequest" by some of my friends. And that's appropriate. Because yes. I really want to meet her. And hear her speak.
Yes, my excitement is palpable. You may be feeling sorry for the people who have to work with me all day as I try to quell my excitement.
But, there's a line in Cleaving that explains how I'm feeling. There are many sections in that book where I can relate.
But, Julie Powell has one line in Cleaving that pretty much explains my whole life.
If there's one thing I've learned about myself, it's that passions don't tend to run out. Would that they did.
I get that.
She had Julia. She had her butchery.
I have this.
My expectations. They are of me. To absorb the moment. To appreciate what I'm doing. To come back with a better understanding of why I need to do these things.
Passions don't tend to run out.
True that, Julie. True that.