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Sunday, January 17, 2010

Julie, Julia and Me

I just finished watching the movie "Julie and Julia." It's not the kind of movie I would usually be compelled to rent, but one of my yoga students said to me, "You should really see this movie, it reminds me of you."

I was somewhat intrigued, so I finally sat down to watch the film. I think I understand now why the film was recommended to me. One, Julie (the main character) dreams of being a writer. Two, she gets her start as a blogger and three, she follows her passion as a guide to her art.

I find that I am by no means either Julie or Julia, but they did remind me of a few important things. If you love something, do it, even if you don't know where it will lead you. Making a dream reality does not necessarily happen overnight and you have to stick with the things you love, even when the reward is not immediately apparent. I guess you do the things you love, purely because you love them and not because you are seeking approval from someone else. Both ladies did seem to be working for approval, but there was also something else driving their efforts. I think that was their passion for the thing they loved; cooking.

I remember my own early blogging. I'm not entirely sure what compelled me to do it, but when I was really sick, and I was not sure what MS had in store for me, it felt like I was doing something. More importantly, blogging brought me back to one of the things I love. It brought me back to writing and it gave me a reason to write. I think I felt that I had a story worth telling. I also thought that maybe someone who needed my words would find them. I wrote for myself but I was never unaware of my audience. I guess the idea that I had an audience sometimes kept me writing when I might have stopped otherwise. Julie made some great points about following through. Maybe it does not really matter, but sometimes I feel best when I feel like I am doing something. I am still not sure why. I am learning to get over the idea that I am my accomplishments but when I have no goals in mind, I find myself adrift. Sometimes, I just feel like I need to produce in order to have a reason to get up every day. I long for free time but when it is before me, I am sometimes anxious in the not doing.

Passion does seem very important to me. I have a hard time getting excited about things I am not passionate about. Creating art and writing, inspires me. Yoga, dance and song, inspire me. It is my passions that carry me between the mundane tasks of life. While I long for free time, it is not free time I really want, it is time to pursue my passions.

I am trying to plot ways to balance my committments with my desires. It seemed to me that Julie lacked that balance, but Julia somehow had it. I'm trying to see my way to a life that is balanced, where I keep doing the things I love, but do not stress myself out trying to do too many things.

I had to remind myself earlier about having compassion on myself. It seems I can always tell a friend to take a break, but the minute I find myself under the weather or hanging out in bed, I feel guilty. I question the validity of my rest. I wonder if I am truly ill or just depressed. I find it so hard to take a break. I find it hard to justify the time I spend doing the things I want to do rather than the things I have to do. Again, I guess I am just seeking balance--


Diane J Standiford said...

I just saw that movie, Loved it and like you, came away with similar thoughts. You and I have had this discussion before, a well lived life is based on balance.

Robert Parker said...


Having compassion for ourselves... we would laugh in the face of death for someone else, but we never take care of ourselves. The line between "selfish" and "self-preservation" doesn't like being drawn, it assumes that even making that distinction puts us in the realm of "selfish"... I wonder why?