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I have a doozy of a story to share with you today. Martha Stewart is one of the icons in my life that I look up to every single day. If I can ever be a bit more like her, I’ll find a way to do that. Whenever I’m tidying and redoing my house, I’m thinking, what will Martha think when she comes over? It’s absurd, reader. Martha is never coming to my house for lunch, but I terrorize myself into order at the thought of it happening. This has been a commonplace scenario in my mind since the summer of 2008 when I saw my first episode of Martha’s daytime talk show.
We lost so much this year…the Obamas, pride in our nation, my long and beautiful hair (for which many are still in mourning)… but whilst the world melted down and we became closer and closer to nuclear annihilation, I found ways to stay entertained, delighted, and discovered ways to bring joy back into to my life. (Lolz, I sound like Oprah.)
I cackled like a child when Martha acted in ways that the viewer never dreamed she could. I wasn’t shocked by her behavior because I have followed every step of her career. Martha’s empire may not be at its peak right now, but this is my very favorite version of her. Of course I loved the fancy Hampton’s Martha and I loved socialite Martha on a yacht and I loved Martha in prison, but there is nothing quite like who she is now. She is hilarious, wise, and doesn’t give two shits about anything.
I remembered something that has become a bit of my personal philosophy: you have to put yourself into situations for them to come true. I wouldn’t have had this or any number of bizarre and wonderful opportunities without taking the initiative to do it. I wouldn’t have meet Angela Lansbury, Prince Charles wouldn’t have winked at me, I wouldn’t have befriended ladies who live in chateaus or Villefranche apartments. I wouldn’t know British authors that I consider friends or professors in Kenya. I wouldn’t have lost Lady M in Giza and I wouldn’t have Hassan in Luxor. Life is about making it as grand and good as it can. In that moment, looking at the chow and the French bulldogs, I knew that I was exactly where I was meant to be.
I was in Villefranche. I was in Paris. I was at home. I was walking through Los Angeles. I was thriving and having something of a spiritual moment as the music washed over me. My eyes got all watery — probably some kind of allergic reaction to the curtains, you know? — and it was magic. I always forget how profound an impact music and stories make on us. This one has been in my life for so many years, and I had grown accustomed to the idea of never having this chance. So to be in that audience having this rare opportunity was a delirious delight. I did not take it lightly at all.
There are so many wonderful things to see and to do. I will go to every museum, I will eat street tacos, I will sit in the squares and listen to music, I will walk through dimly lit streets and think of danger, I will go to Aztec ruins and climb pyramids, I will sit in my cozy apartment and write, I will shop for local goods, I will figure out what Mezcal is, I will find favorite bakeries and tortilla shops, I will listen to mariachi bands, I will gorge myself on chocolates, I will poison myself with the water, I will have the time of my life. It’ll be great and good and I just cannot wait to hop on the plane and discover a new world.
It feels awfully peculiar knowing that I won’t be in dangerous territories, that I won’t be eating Parisian pastries for a month, that I won’t be lost in some horrible city where I don’t speak the language. That is the kind of thing I thrive on…I’m going to start furiously googling colleges and things to do in America that might be a bit off the beaten path. Maybe I’ll hike the Grand Canyon. Or perhaps I will drive to Mexico City! Or maybe I’ll rent a shack on a beach and write a book? Or maybe I’ll do none of this and learn to enjoy relaxation and the luxury of an empty schedule. I don’t know. We’ll see.