I recently learned about a woman who had – from the outsider’s point of view – a fabulous life. She travelled extensively and had lived in every corner of the world. She worked in a field of human rights. She was tall and had great hair. She had a handsome husband and two beautiful children. She was well-educated and seemed to know all of the “it” people.
The day came when I finally met Madame Fantastique, and I was excited to pick her brain about how she was able to accomplish so much in so little time. We began talking at a local coffee shop and, quite quickly, I was underwhelmed. This woman was snobbish and was not very nice to the kind man serving the cafe au lait. She proved to be a braggart who had an air of superiority that was entirely off-putting. She wasn’t a question-asker (in fact, at the close of the conversation I realized she knew nothing about me, but I knew the most intimate details of how much her handbag had cost and why she didn’t eat carbs.) When I aimed to turn the conversation to her children, she used their budding fluency in new languages as a platform to let me know how lucky they were to have parents as fabulous as she and her husband are. I had reserved judgement until she said to me, “You’ll probably never be able to have the experiences we do – it’s just that we’re really focused on giving ourselves the good life.”
At that moment, two things came to me: 1) I didn’t like this woman. She was an insecure elitist who pumped herself up by trying to make others feel small. Yuck. 2) I didn’t agree with this woman. There should be nothing stopping anyone from having the experiences they want in life. Whether that means learning multiple languages, visiting foreign countries, mastering a new sport or perfecting the art of the perfect nap – THE GOOD LIFE IS ATTAINABLE.
And so I have begun a quest to convey small lessons, gentle encouragement and outright guidelines to anyone interested in finding that next great life experience. We are sophisticated people with curiosities about the world and our own back yards. Indulging Nay-say Nelly (how could I have ever thought she was so fantastic?! Shame on me.) in her assertions that enrichment is tough to come by lets her win.
Juicy Olive will prove her wrong.