I’m inspired, then, by women who are able to throw caution to the wind and embrace the unknown. Julia Child was one of those women. I recently read a biography about her called Julia Child Rules by Karen Karbo. What’s beautfiully ironic about the title is that Julia wasn’t much of a rule-follower herself. Each chapter of the book lays out a truism that Julia preached and practiced in her life. My favorite one was “Obey Your Whims” because, in whim-following, as well as in the kitchen, I have a lot to learn from Julia.
Julia was a big believer in not getting “stuck” on any certain path. When, during World War II, the Women Army Corps (WACs) rejected Julia for being too tall (she was six-foot-three), she didn’t give up on her goal of serving the war effort. She took the civil service exam and traveled to Washington, D.C., where she got a job with the OSS–the precursor to the CIA. The job took her to India, where she met Paul Child, the man she’d eventually marry. Paul, a man of refined tastes, was the reason she learned to cook. When presented with something unfamiliar or a new challenge, Julia’s attitude was “what the hell” and she’d roll up her sleeves and see what it was all about.
I, for one, know I could exercise a little less caution at times and a little more what-the-hell. How about you? I’ll leave you with this tidbit from the book:
“The best time to heed a whim is when we find ourselves stuck in life, when putting one foot in front of the other is only taking us further away from where we want to go, even though we don’t know where that is.”
—Julia Child Rules by Karen Karbo
Who inspires you to veer off the beaten path?
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