Okay, okay, I don’t actually hate Julia Roberts. I don’t even know her. What I hate – no, wait, my grandma always said never to use that word – what irks me (deeply) about this particular celebrity is that ever-present self-satisfied smirk on her big glamorous puss. I understand those who admire her for her humble, down-to-earth, just-a-regular-gal persona, displayed on talk shows and in magazine profiles. I’m sure she does have a genuinely good heart and she seems to be a very devoted mom. And it’s not her fault that she gets to pal around with George Clooney and Brad Pitt, and make sexytime with that devastating hunk Javier Bardem in her new movie, when I, for example, don’t. My question is, does she have to be so damn pleased with herself about it all?
That’s very judgmental of me, I admit. She is likely as prone to insecurities as the rest of us. She probably doesn’t look in the mirror every morning and toss her Breck Girl hair in self-admiration. She probably doesn’t get eight hours of uninterrupted sleep every night while round-the-clock nannies tend to her children (though I will continue to harbor this secret belief about all movie stars moms!) or have every meal created in macrobiotic portion-controlled perfection by a personal chef. No, she’s just a person, a mom, a normal woman very close to my age who just happens to possess way-above-average beauty, excellent posture, and the ambition, talent, and good luck to succeed as an actress. And wouldn’t that make anyone pleased with themselves? Of course it would.
Then why, I wonder, do I see her face splashed gigantically across the screen during previews at a movie theater and feel my heart sink? Why do tears puddle up quietly while I watch her cavort and giggle through a dazzling Hollywood version of the Italian countryside? Why do I have to look away as she catches eyes with the aforementioned Spanish hunk and unleashes her trademark blinding smile?
Perhaps the answer is a sad, simple one: I’m jealous. Everything Julia Roberts does, either in character or in public persona mode, seems to translate loud and clear (blaring, you might say) that she LOVES HER LIFE!!!! And every time I see that, I am reminded of how much time I spend wishing I loved mine.
Uh oh. I said that out loud, didn’t I? This is where I need to backpedal. I do love my life, of course. How could I not, when I am blessed and privileged in so many ways. A quick review of my health, my home, my loving marriage, beautiful children and devoted friends indicate an absolute absence of anything to complain about. And yet, I yearn. I feel incomplete. What more could I possibly need? The rich-and-famous thing is nothing I envy. The toned bod and planet-friendly diet are ideals I can strive for (fruitlessly, so far!) but surely can’t provide ultimate emotional fulfillment. Improving my track record as a mommy would surely move things in the right direction (trying to step up to good-enough – thanks, Brenda!) but I know myself well enough to know that is not the missing puzzle piece.
I hate to admit it, but I think the answer may lie in filling that odd hollowness I’ve been feeling for a while now. Is that a breeze blowing through a neglected window in my soul? Do I, who practically needs to carry an Epi-Pen in case of the mere mention of organized religion, really have to stumble down a spiritual path? I know I cannot handle bringing the G-word into my life, but maybe, if it can take the form of something I already love – food, yoga, writing? – I could handle that. Whatever the case, it seems I may need to start wedging in some Pray between the Eat and the Love. Hopefully I can accomplish that without having to watch a Julia Roberts movie to show me how.
This is an original JerseyMomsBlog post by Deanna Q, with apologies to the real Julia Roberts who bears no responsibility for feelings of inadequacy she may or may not inspire in others.