La cuisine française et Cinderella

cinderella

Today I saw the movie “Julie & Julia.” (Et maintenant je veux quelques poulet au beurre blanc pour le dîner.)  I loved the movie, it was touching and moving and full of sautéeing butter and Meryl Streep is, as usual, fabulous and hilarious.  Not to mention the story of the blogger who is living a life of drudgery and ordinari-ness, who becomes famous and rich and eats all that buttery, creamy cuisine française and doesn’t get fat.  (Not to mention the hunky husband.) Hmm I wonder why this movie appealed to me?…but I digress. 

I’m a sucker for the Cinderella stories…but isn’t every girl? Everyone wishes that their life would be the different one, that they would be the one who would wake up one ordinary day and the stars would align and all their dreams would come true and everything would just fall into place.  Then they would glide through life happy and successful and loved, and life would just resonate in shades of sparkling pastels and jewel tones.  But it seems to me lately that much more frequently, life seems to tend towards sepia, doldrum jobs and dwindling bank accounts and crappy apartments with even crappier roommates who steal your food, your clothes and flirt with your boyfriend.

 Ahhh…I feel as though I am trapped in a life that is not good enough for me. Not in a vain, I-deserve-better-than-somone-else kind of way, but in a way that I feel as though I am not living up to my full potential.  There are so many things I know I am good at – writing, digital photography, analyzing art and literature, graphic design – and that I am passionate about – music, photography, nature, literature, dissecting the psyche to discern where art and literature stem from and tracing those back to the way in which human beings tick and how they express themselves – and yet I feel as though none of my talents or skills are valued by society to the degree that other, more technical, skills are. Of course society values “culture” and the arts. But I have the feeling that had I a degree in electrical engineering, or accounting, I would be employed by now. Part of the reason I am unemployed, I think, is that I am dragging my feet in refusal to become just another English grad who works at Victoria’s Secret and calls herself a writer despite never getting a novel published. My father, my friends, my sometimes-boyfriend, say, “Just get a shit job so you can save some money and move somewhere where there are jobs that you are interested in.”  But I am skeptical. (Well, that and I don’t want a shit job). So many people start off that way and never end up making it to where they want to go.  I want a life where I can actually use my skills and express myself creatively. I want a life where I can be engrossed in my work and not want to leave the office at the end of the day and want to bring my work home with me, a life where I am constantly being challenged to think of things from different angles and foreign perspectives and learning new things every day. I want a life where, on the weekends, I can hike up the mountains and photograph the sunset or stroll the farmer’s market with an armful of glads.  I want a life where I can come home from work and whip up médaillons de porc braisé au Madère with asperges marinées à la niçoise, or sit on an Adirondack chair on the deck and read any one of the hundreds of books on my to-do list (the complete works of Jane Austen, The Poisonwood Bible, The Middle Way, etc.) while the sun sets out over the water. I want a life where an editor just stumbles upon my little blog and offers me a book deal the way Prince Charming offered Cinderella that shoe and I live happily ever after.  Am I living in a fantasy land? Do I exist too much in my dreams and my head and am not putting enough effort or agression into the real world?  Does this ever happen in “real” life? I would imagine that it does…somewhere…I just don’t know how to get there.

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~ by Bitterroot Buttercup on August 13, 2009.

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