Thursday, July 8, 2010

Eat Pray Love 2 or the one where I over share

After reading the book for a week what are your first impressions? So much of this part of the book is about Liz’s battle of modern vs. traditional, where do you fall on the spectrum. Are you married with children or do you never want to get married, or like most I would guess are you somewhere in between?

Here is the part where I lay it all out there so maybe people can begin to understand why I love this book. I can’t tell you what my first impressions are because I have read this book so many times but I can tell you what happened the first time I read it.

I was 21 years old and a totally different person than I am now. I had made a habit out of letting people in to my life that would drain on my resources, emotionally and physically, because it was always about them, never a give-and-take. At 21 I had friends who weren’t very good to me and was in a horrible relationship. Basically, I was miserable, about to graduate college, terrified of the real world and felt more alone than I can possibly explain. And then I was out buying up books for quarters at tag sales and came across a bag of books for a dollar. I didn’t care what was in it, who could pass that up. I bought the bag and somewhere down in the bottom was a copy of Eat Pray Love. I threw it in my suitcase and headed back to school (I had bought it while home visiting the family).

I don’t know what made me pick it up and start reading one day while sitting at my favorite bench on campus. As I worked my way through the first few sections all I could think was HOLY SHIT! Now excuse my language but that is the only way I have to convey how I really felt. My life was so difference from Gilberts but our issues were very similar and to fix both would take drastic work. I think I might have actually started crying sitting on that bench. Seriously, I was that moved.

Now, I understand that some people find her to be whiny at the beginning of the novel and as I read it now, with my life totally different (in a good way), I can see that. But then, when I was 21 and so miserable I didn’t want to get out of bed in the morning she wasn’t whining. She was telling the completely unfiltered truth and I knew I needed to try that.

Now just as a disclaimer, I started slowly but efficiently getting rid of all the unhealthy people in my life. It wasn’t easy and it took time but now, over two years later, my life is so much better I hardly recognize the person who left all kinds of markings in my copy of EPL. This book helped me make serious changes and I am not really sure if I would have done it had I not stumbled upon this book. Gilbert has yoga. I have books.
Now maybe that is way more than I should share with the whole internet but enough people in my life already know about it so I don’t really care.

As for the modern vs. traditional part, well I am so far on the modern side sometimes I feel like living in the south is the dumbest thing I ever did. I am one of the very few little girls I knew who didn’t play with baby dolls and pretend she was a mommy, I never pictured my wedding day and I never thought “I like that name, I will keep it in mind for my future children.”

I have never once in my life wished I could get married. I am told (over and over and over and over) that this will change as I get older and that would be fine, but I really don’t want to get married. I love being single and my life is great this way. I have a career that requires a lot of travel and I work nights and weekends from September to June. Working in college athletics is amazing, fun and rewarding. This spring I worked with a baseball team and sometimes it felt like I had 30 kids, trust me I worry about them like a parent sometimes and I am certainly proud like a parent when they do well.

Moving to North Carolina a year ago was a major shock for me, I grew up in NY and went to college in Boston. I couldn’t understand why everyone down here was 25 and already married, or at least engaged, it was crazy to me. And my I don’t want to get married and I really don’t want kids attitude took them all by storm for sure. It has been a fun year of explaining my life philosophies and trying to be open minded to theirs.

Okay, enough ranting. If anyone actually made it to the bottom of this post, thank you, now head over to The Book Vixen to see what everyone else thinks.


Anonymous said...

Dude I totally get it. I was 17 and so totally shocked by the idea that I was about to be a mother. With my own child. With a man I already decided to break up with because we didn't want the same things in life. Bucket of ice water down the spine. She does not seem that whiney to me, but I am someone who knows what depression feels like. When it is read while you are in a good place it seems melodramatic, when you are in a ok place you see the fear on the wall like a dark shadow waiting to jump on you, and when the shadow is on you, what can I say? You don't even want to read a book like EPL because it would mean doing something other than figuring out how to keep breathing when you're so tired it would be so much better just to stop. Maybe I should leave your comment area alone, but I'm just saying, I know that road too.
PS I didnt play with babydolls or pick out names either as a kid. And I NEVER thought I would get married.

Charlie said...

Wow. This book is effecting me in the same way. It is showing me that I need to change things, and change them NOW. Thank you so much for sharing your story, it's nice to know I'm not alone. :)

RosieC said...

I also appreciate your thoughts depression. I've been on and off antidepressants with a dash of therapy with 2/3 of my life. While I'm not in a horrible spot right now, I have so much empathy for Liz that it's almost heart breaking. I've spent too much time on the metaphorical bathroom floor creating my own puddles of tears.

I'm so happy that you found this book at your time of need and that it helped you filter out the bad things (did I misread that, or were the two unrelated?). Thanks for your story!

nicolerene said...

The story about how you came across the book is very telling. I strongly believe that life gives us what we need to get through, as long as we are open to it when it comes. It sounds like this book came into your life at just the right moment.
It sounds like you are a very successfull, bright woman. Good for you.

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