Julia Allison

Julia explains how she got into journalism.

on Jun 18, 2012

This scene was especially difficult for me to watch, because several weeks ago my grandmother passed away. She wasn’t just another relative to me -- she was everything. So much of who I am, I am because of her. She lived in the same little house, just a mile or so away from where I grew up, for 56 years. She helped rear me. She took me to ballet lessons and picked me up from school and taught me how to write thank you notes. She coached me at tennis (I was terrible, but she never complained), and on fashion (she loved Diane von Furstenberg and Lilly Pulitzer and gave me many of her vintage frocks from the 70s). She took me to operas and ballets and book fairs and imbued me with a deep love of learning.

Right up until she died, she and I would talk weekly, long rambling conversations about life and love and most of all, boys. We talked dating, always dating. “Does he make your heart go pitty-pat?” she would ask about my latest fellow. “No,” I’d admit. “Not really.” Or sometimes, rarely, “Yes!” And she’d smile with her heart and give me advice -- good advice, real advice. Advice from a woman who was married 48 years before she was widowed. Advice from a woman who was as mischievous as I am, who knew how to flirt, and who even watched Sex and the City, much to my amusement. (I wrote a column about our conversations on the topic.) Advice from a woman who knew love and loss and unselfish, unwavering commitment.

My grandmother always used to say to me, when I was frantically worrying about some idiot guy or what I was going to do with my career or where I would live or whether my life would EVER work out, "Julia, darling, you must simply let it unfold."

It wasn't her only wise aphorism, but it was the one that struck most deeply. For all the planning, all the anxiety, all of the nonsense, sometimes the only thing to do is just relax and let our lives unfold. So, despite the fact that she would have been horrified at the idea, a few years ago I tattooed the acronym on my wrist. LIU: Let it Unfold