Eat, Pray, Love

There comes a time in every young woman's* life, as I have found, where for better or for worse, they cannot avoid reading certain books. Even if they don't especially like to read. This is one of those books. I can't think of the others off hand.
I managed to avoid it for long enough, though. It wasn't until as I call it "All The Stuff Started to Happen," and I sat down with a consular to discuss how I should deal with it. Now, I don't know if many of you have therapists or groups or consulars, but I have a revolving door of consulars who always tell me the same thing: "There's nothing wrong with you." And the prescription is always a book. I bet you can guess which book my consular prescribed me.
I went straight home and ordered a used copy from Amazon for a penny (together with the shipping, it rounded off to $4 - a steal). What I received was a hard cover ex-library book with a bit magenta nail polish on the cover. This was excellent, because it meant that I could highlight and "deface" my copy guilt free. I have no qualms about scribbling and adding annotations into my own personal copies - though I understand that many people absolutely hate that idea. One last personal remark: I cannot say the title of this book. I have to sing it.

Eating, Praying... She's just a woman!

I know I missed the bus on this book - and I haven't even seen the movie (because when it's Julia Roberts, I go in the opposite direction). Before I read it, I got mixed reviews on this book. Most of my friends (including my Mom) didn't speak very highly of it, but there's no denying that it's a very popular and well received book no matter what my friends say. Also, the reviews on Good Reads practically rip it to shreds (as usual with Good Reads reviews, I'm not sure if we even read the same book...).

Elizabeth Gilbert thought she knew where her life was headed, until she didn't anymore. Liz in her early 30's, at the dawn of a new decade, had hit the rock bottom of proverb. She was lost and a little Godless, and frankly, in a place that (like I've tried to mention) most women are very familiar with. "What have I done to myself? What do I do? Who am I?" I believe this is called an identity crisis.
Liz is already a successful writer, and decides that after her terrible divorce and the ill-timed, ill-fated affair that followed, she will spend the next year in three different countries. First is Rome, where she will learn Italian, a language she has always admired simply for the sake of it's own verbal beauty and indulge in some of the best cuisine in the world. During the months she spends here, Liz learns to live the good life, and unapologetically too. (This is my Mom's favorite part of the book, and who wouldn't be envious of Liz's 3 months in Rome? Talk about living the dream.) Second, Liz moves to India for a few months where she learns to pray: to speak to God, to understand herself, to basically cultivate a beautiful spiritual relationship. Remember that at the beginning of the book, Liz is a little bit "God-less" as most Americans are. This part really effected me on a pretty personal level - I guess it's where I am in my own journey so to speak. (The joke I like to make is that I'm Going Steady with Jesus). The third place she visits is Indonesia, where she visits an old medicine man for a few months that she once met and in what seemed like a harebrained attempt to find him again. And when she does, also accidentally steps into a steaming pile of, well, love.
I think we all got the point of the book without me even having to explain it. Okay, fair point. I have to step a little softly when describing how I felt about this book: it's got a lot of fans and non-fans alike. But in all honestly, I really liked it a lot. All of the parts were my favorite parts, I love how the author isn't self-pitying but self-humoring. I enjoyed the way she wrote, and her research. Some of it is a little hard to believe - but it's unbelievable you take it with a grain of salt then. I think this was a very important book, for me at least, to read especially at this time of my life (even though there's a reason why I did. It wasn't pure accident like last time.)

* All women are young women, unless they are horrible people. Remember that.

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