Inspired by: Elizabeth Gilbert
Usually for book reviews on my blog, I like to keep abreast of the new stuff that comes out. Once in a while though, I have to throw in a few favorites! I am constantly inspired by Elizabeth Gilbert, and thoroughly recommend Eat Pray Love to just about any woman out there. I have read it twice, and to this day still reference sections of the book for my own life.
If you have only seen the movie–please don’t judge the book by the movie, because Julia Roberts drove that hott tranny trainwreck into the ground, unfortunately. I’m not saying it was the worst movie ever, but not exactly the greatest thing to happen in cinema, either. Whatever you thought about the movie-definitely still read the book.
Elizabeth Gilbert’s book is a memoir based on the year in her life she dedicated to finding herself. Gilbert had suffered a tumultuous divorce, which provides the beginning of the book, and loses herself completely in the wreckage of her marriage. After the dust settles and the papers are signed, Gilbert decides to spend a year in the three countries of ‘I’, first Italy, then India, and end the year in Indonesia, specifically, Bali.
The book is beautiful. I am a serious annotator, a symptom of AP classes from high school, and I have highlighted all of the sections I found meaningful to me-literally over half of the book.
The time spent in Italy, for Gilbert, is an exploration in pleasure. She wants to live the dolce vita, eat pasta, take in the beautiful things in life. Being a girl who wants nothing more than that for myself, I completely get her.
In India she yearns to reconnect with the spiritual side of herself, and get a real connection with the universe. Her struggles are long and hard throughout India, and I relate to her at every turn. I think all of us who have ever tried to meditate have that moment where you can’t quiet your mind, a passage that Gilbert explains in great humorous detail.
Lastly, she takes time out to live and play in Bali, with some unexpected twists in her path. I knew very little about Bali, and reading her describe this happy island is wonderful. I mean even Oprah likes her, which is basically all I really need to say.
For all my fellow Jerseyans-she actually lived in Frenchtown and owns a store there! I have visited it, it’s called Two Buttons, and it is a giant warehouse of knick-knacks from around the globe! If you find yourself near Frenchtown, you should definitely check it out!
Here are just a few quotes from Eat Pray Love that have come to be my favorites:
-“Stop wearing your wishbone where your backbone ought to be.”
-“Happiness is the consequence of personal effort. You fight for it, strive for it, insist upon it, and sometimes even travel around the world looking for it. You have to participate relentlessly in the manifestations of your own blessings. And once you have achieved a state of happiness, you must never become lax about maintaining it. You must make a mighty effort to keep swimming upward into that happiness forever, to stay afloat on top of it.”
-“You need to learn how to select your thoughts just the same way you select your clothes every day. This is a power you can cultivate. If you want to control things in your life so bad, work on the mind. That’s the only thing you should be trying to control.”
-“If I love you, I will carry for you all your pain, I will assume for you all your debts (in every definition of the word), I will protect you from your own insecurity, I will protect upon you all sorts of good qualities that you have never actually cultivated in yourself and I will buy Christmas presents for your entire family. I will give you the sun and the rain, and if they are not available, I will give you a sun check and a rain check. I will give you all this and more, until I get so exhausted and depleted that the only way I can recover my energy is by becoming infatuated with someone else.”
-“Traveling is the great true love of my life… I am loyal and constant in my love of travel. I feel about travel the way a happy new mother feels about her impossible, colicky, restless newborn baby – I just don’t care what it puts me through. Because I adore it. Because it’s mine. Because it looks exactly like me.”
I am so inspired by this woman. To look life in the face, and take off on the great adventure that your life has been waiting for-that, to me, is true inspiration. It’s all I have ever wanted. I can’t recommend her book enough. If you are looking for some soul-food, Gilbert is the book to turn to!
Have you read Eat Pray Love? Did you love it?