I began the month of January with resolve: resolving to reexamine my dreams, to not give up too soon, to seek to be more independent, and to learn to be content. I’m ending the month with patience; something I think is actually much harder than resolving. To resolve is simply to put into motion, to determine something, to begin, and to strive for. Patience is enduring, tolerating disappointment, waiting on conclusions, and accepting the right-now.
Julia Child is a study in patience. Though seemingly confident, carefree, and good-natured in both her own television appearances and the Hollywood interpretations of her, she endured much disappointment and latent success throughout her life. Graduating from Smith College in 1934 with a degree in History, Child emerged from her college years without “the Mrs. that had been the ultimate four year goal” (Jacobs, Vanity Fair, “Our Lady of the Kitchen“). While modern women would be horrified to think that the sole reason for higher education was to better the chances of landing a man, in the 1930’s, this was not only a common practice, but an expected goal for women. Though Julia was a slim, beautiful woman described as having “penetrating blue eyes,” at 6 feet 2 inches, she towered over most men who weren’t willing to stand up beside her. Without the certain path of marriage that most of her female peers were choosing, Child instead jumped from job to job, concluding with a typist and researcher position with the Office of Strategic Services during World War II. It was there that she met her husband and was married to him in 1946 when she was 34 years old, a common age for many modern women to tie the knot, but an age considered in the 1940’s to be well-entrenched into the “old maid” years.
Julia’s career path endured even more halting steps than her path to marriage. She didn’t publish her first book until 1961 at the age of 49 years old after many publishing house refusals, re-writes, and years of work on her manuscript. For a woman as well-known as Julia, the first fifty years of her life were seemingly status-quo. Patience was definitely something Julia was a pro at. Plodding along, her life-path begun as an awkward girl without a date concluded as one of the most well-known and most treasured chefs, television personalities, and women of the 21st century. So, patience it is and “soldier on!” I think Julia would say, who knows what grand things the future holds.
– <3 A.
Sources: “Our lady of the kitchen,” Jacobs, Vanity Fair for quotes and images
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