I’m sitting here watching Julie & Julia again and it got me in the mood to blog, as it always does. Honestly, it’s about the twentieth time I’ve watched it but there are just some stories that strike a chord every time. Repetition hasn’t dulled it.
There are a million things I love about this movie. It highlights the time in Julia Child’s life when she lived in Paris and isn’t France amazing? The little details in every design, the old buildings, the love of food. It makes me want to live another life in another country where I sit around in cafés and philosophize about people that walk by and be so moved that I must immediately pull out my laptop and write a novel about it all. No dishes that need to be washed, no kids screaming at me, no grocery shopping to be done. Does that life truly exist out there, for anyone? I think Danielle Steele has an apartment in Paris. No wonder she writes so many books.
And talk about romance. I have this ridiculous crush on Stanley Tucci as Julia’s husband. The way he fawns over her, supports her dreams without question, and would do anything to make her happy. And, really, who has that much sex? Maybe it’s all that French air and food. Add that to my imaginary life, too.
My favorite thing about this movie is that it’s about two women working toward their dreams, no matter how many obstacles get in their way, no matter how many discouragements. Eventually they both get their careers in publishing (sorry to spoil it for you) after years of hard work.
But why is it that even the challenges in their lives seem more interesting than the ones in my life? There’s nothing inspirational about toddler meltdowns or petty arguments with my husband or running through the house trying to get it clean before nap time in the hopes of getting a few words written before he gets home and my world returns to its normal state of chaos. The closest my life ever gets to the inspiration of a Parisian café is sitting in the back room of the coffee shop with my headphones blasting in attempt to drown out the chatter. How does anyone write anything inspired in these conditions?
Yesterday I put a pot roast in the slow cooker and by dinner time it was only half cooked. That’s why I feel like my life is like right now. I only have the time and energy to do things half way. A smart person would forget about this insane dream, or at least put it off for another five years until the girls are both in school. But every time I think about not writing, even for a week, I dissolve into tears. I’m about as willing to give it up as I am to shave my head.
I know things will get better. I know I’ll miss these days when my kids are young and I don’t have a deadline hanging over my head. But right now it’s an all out battle to get this story out of my head, which I must say, despite the need for another rewrite, is starting to sound legible.
I don’t have the answers. I don’t know if there are any, and if there were, I don’t know if I’d want them. It may not be pretty or wrapped up in a bow, but for better or worse this is my conflict, a chance to build my character arc. This difficult life is where the ideas come from. So I’ll just keep living it and writing it and believing that one day it will look like a book.
The pot roast is ready.