Tuesday, July 21, 2009

I need a MasterChef for my writing life

If you live in Australia then the words Julie and MasterChef probably mean something to you.

Julie, a 38 year old wife and mother of three young boys, who runs an IT business with her husband, out-cooked and out-lasted 19 other promising amateur chefs on this popular reality TV show for the title of the country's first MasterChef.

I'm not a reality TV fan ordinarily. I only started watching this show a week before the finale, because my half-sister was having a sleep over at our place and she didn't want to miss it.

Then I was hooked, and when Julie won and described her dream (soon to be reality) of opening a warm little restaurant on the NSW central coast, where she lives, I had tears in my eyes. The result was so perfect, so tug-on-the-heartstrings that allegations immediately twittered about that it was rigged.

It's perfect because she was the oldest woman among the finalists, and she is an everywoman. She represents those mothers who have for so long put their own girlish dreams on hold in order to raise their families and pay the bills that they have nearly forgotten them altogether, or remember them without any hope of fulfilling them.

But she put her hand up for this show, got selected, spent three months in an intense learning environment with some of the country's top chefs under the critical gaze of a third of the country's population, and her natural talent was allowed to flourish. She excelled.

It inspires me, and a lot of other mothers, judging from the reactions of my friends. I think, well, if Julie can do it, I can make my dreams come true too.

I could write that book that millions of people will actually read. Then I could spend the rest of my life showering money on my favourite charities and causes and travelling the world; pray along the Camino de Santiago, sip sweet milky coffee in Vientiane, and throw my second coin in the Fontana di Trevi.

But which of us has the time, the three or four hours a day over a long period that it takes to perfect a skill, to bring out the full potential of our talents? How many of us have the guidance of mentors who are at the top of their field?

Maybe not too many. But stories like Julie's, or anyone who has pursued a dream and succeeded later in life, give me enough hope and inspiration to try a little harder. And that's all I need to be a winner.

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1 comment:

  1. I am not a fan of reality TV either and when I first saw the adds for Masterchef, I thought that Matt and George looked so mean and nasty. I was sure it was going to be a show where they tasted food and said oh my goodness this tastes terrible and put the contestants down.

    One night the children wanted to watch it and I sat with them. I was pleasantly surprised at What both Matt and George said to the contestants. I was hooked too.

    I think we must have stopped watching around the time you started Marilyn. I think it was the affect of the school holidays. When I realized I had missed the finale I was a bit disappointed but I did a google search and found out that Julie had gone against Poh and I was happy that she had won. She was one of my favourites from the start of the show.


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