I finally saw Julia & Julia. I actually caught a late-afternoon show, which felt more like I’d hit an early bird special. And I don’t know about you, but I found it perfectly satisfying. (I also found it made me really hungry, but that’s what the supersize popcorn special was for.) And, as a dating optimist, I realized that both characters are an inspiration for how to embrace optimism—whether you’re feeding your belly to feeding your heart.
Here’s how to get what they had:
1. Have passion for your goal. It’s hard to succeed in something you don’t care two shakes about. They both loved food and writing, and used the passion in their guts to keep them motivated.
Daters should do the same: If you’ve lost the passion to find love itself (“What’s the freaking point?”) it’s time to get it back. Want it. Live it. Breathe it. Believe it.
2. See success at the end of the long road. Julia Child knew it wasn’t going to be easy to gain respect or success as a woman in her field. And Julie Powell knew that cooking and blogging on an insane schedule wasn’t going to be cake either. But both saw the light at the end of the tunnel and decided they were going to succeed.
You can do that in love too: Decide you are going to get the love you want. It may be a tough, bumpy road, but if you see yourself succeeding at the end, you’ll have more fun along the way.
3. Don’t let set-backs stop you. Both Julie and Julia had some missteps in the film: Some dropped chickens, some rejected cookbooks, some mis-flipped food, some missed appointments. Yes they got mad. Yes they got sad. But then they got their eyes back on the prize and carried on.
Same with love: You will have bad dates and lonely nights and will want to give up. But if you stay strong and positive, you can end up with a happy ending…and maybe even a movie deal!
Suffice it to say, the characters’ love lives were an inspiration, too: Everyone deserves a partner as supportive and proud of their strong, spunky wife.
In any case, the next time you’re feeling like you want to ball up and cry on the kitchen floor, remember Julie & Julia and what they can teach us: We’ve all been there. (Oh, have I been there…) This too shall pass. And someday, I swear, when you’re settled into your happy relationship, you’ll find your former breakdowns really funny. In the meantime, keep smiling and eat well.