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Julia Child didn’t know what to be31 Jul 2009 09:45 am

julia.jpgSome of us know from a young age what we want to become when we grow up. Some of us haven’t a clue.

I’m reading Julia Child’s “My Life In France” right now and I was surprised to read how she sort of stumbled into the food thing.

A graduate of Smith College from a well-off family, she had no interest in France or cooking until her 30s. After college, she found herself working for the government during WW II for a unit that was the precursor to the CIA and then moved to Paris with her husband Paul who got a job there with the U.S. state department.

In the book, she writes about her dad’s expectations for her life: “He assumed I would marry a Republican banker and settle in Pasadena to live a conventional life. But if I’d done that I’d probably have turned into an alcoholic, as a number of my friends had. Instead, I married Paul Child, a painter, photographer, poet, and mid-level diplomat who had taken me to live in dirty, dreaded France. I couldn’t have been happier.”

She found her bliss in Paris, and a vocation that would make her happy for the rest of her life — cooking.


I share this story because lately I’ve been feeling a lot of angst from many of you, both young and old. The summer is drawing near an end so college graduates now have to really get serious about what they’re going to be doing in the fall; and more mature workers who have been laid off or are just unhappy with their careers, are wondering what they should do next.

Unfortunately your career answers are not going to drop from the sky and fall in your lap. They will come from exploration, from travel, reading, meeting new people, joining networks — both cyber and human, and from being open to new experiences.

Julia Child tried new foods, embraced a new culture, and came out with gifts beyond her wildest dreams.

Open your taste buds. Open your mind.

A tall, dorky, girl from Pasadena did it.

Why not try something new, maybe Julia’s Coq au Vin recipe, and see what happens.

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