Very rarely does a romantic comedy "speak to me" but I watched "Julie & Julia" this weekend and absolutely loved it. I doubt it was the intention of the movie but I felt it touched on life as an Expat Spouse on so many levels.
The movie is partly related to the life of the legendary cook, Julia Child. Julia's Husband was an American civil servant and diplomat; together they were posted to Paris, Marseilles, Bonn and Oslo. There was one point in the movie when Julia was lamenting over the failure of her cookbook and she said "eight years of my life spent on a project...just for something for me to do...just so I wouldn't have nothing to do". This must hit a cord with a lot of Expat Spouses.
In another rare moment where Julia was feeling blue, she asked her Husband "now what?" he placated her by saying "we will go home". Of course, she asks "Where's home? Where do we live?"... "Home is wherever we are, right? And we will work it out...we will figure it out". Totally true...home is wherever we go and we are experts in making our little nests as quickly as possible! Sidenote: Whenever, I'm on holiday I call a hotel room, hostel, villa or friend's place "home" which sometimes initiates a quizzical look. Maybe there is hope for me yet...
I can only speak of the person portrayed in the film by Meryl Streep but to me I felt like Julia was a good role model for life as an Expat Spouse. You could feel the joy & excitement at the start of the movie when she arrived in Paris for their new posting (a bit different to wide eyed jumpy J). I loved how she laughed and treated the bad times with a good dose of humour. I completely admired her confidence and inability to be phased by any situation like not being able to speak the local language or a lack of knowledge. Perhaps unintentionally at first, but Julia had effectively built her career in a suitcase as an Expat Spouse (career could be a bit of an understatement here).
Needless to say that I never met the great Julia Child (ha) nor am I an expert in her life but as I was glued to the screen in admiration of this character...it got me a-thinking on the importance of Role Models and how they can help in any area of our lives - even to maximise the joy and potential of life as an Expat or Expat Spouse. Tony Robbins says in his book Awaken The Giant Within "...find a role model, someone who's already getting the results you want, and then tap into their knowledge,. Learn what they are doing, what their core beliefs are, and how they think". I am totally going to channel my inner Julia in 2015 (move time) and have great admiration for many of fellow expat friends who I learn so much from (and not just in the 'where's the best place to find XYZ' kind of way).
Does anyone have an Expat or Expat Spouse role model? If so, what makes them your role model?
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