The first thing I did upon completing university was pick up a book and read. It was the first time in an entire year that I read for pure enjoyment. And thank goodness I picked up an incredible book because since then, I’ve been motivated into finishing two other books.
Julie & Julia is a memoir of sorts written by Julie Powell, who in the year before her big 3-0, had felt that she had not achieved much in her life, that she had nothing to show, and so she embarks on a challenge to cook all 524 recipes in 365 days. The book goes through Julie’s adventure of killing lobsters, cooking brains and mastering the art of cooking egg (yes there is a proper way to scramble, boil and crack egg). It’s a fun book written so eloquently I got hungry just reading about the different foods she cooked. This book is a foodie’s dream and I wish I was in on the blog thing when Julie was updating her blog, it definitely would have been an incredible read.
But the book goes beyond the food. It walks through Julie’s, frankly, mundane life. In a weird backward sort of way, it was probably what made it such a good read for me–Julie was just a regular, well, Julie, and I could relate, in theory, to the static way of her life. Julie is sarcastic and just so normal that you can’t help but live the year with her. It goes through her ups and downs in life, but mostly just what she observes day to day. But then there is that big picture view that doesn’t click until the end of the book. Guess hindsight is 20/20.
Powell’s book made me think about what I am doing in my own life. My last year of university was truly a mental challenge for me as I fought to enjoy the last year of my schooling while striving for success in landing a full-time high salary corporate job, winning awards, raising the most funds for events etc. It was stressful and for the most part, I didn’t do it for myself, I did the things I did because I wanted other people’s meaningless praises. I was looking in the wrong direction, and I didn’t know how to get out of my funk.
After reading Julie&Julia, I found a renewed passion for my writing, but also a passion for enjoying life, because it is so fleeting and only you can enjoy or hate what you do or do not do. I haven’t officially taken on a project, but by how things are going, my project will probably involve reading and blogging about books. There are some other ideas being tossed around in my head for projects to take on and I try and figure my life out now that I am not a student anymore. If you have any ideas, please tweet me @YvoYeungGirl. (One cool one would be to make cupcakes infused with my collection of teas. Or maybe tea in cooking.)