Monday, September 8, 2008

Eat Pray Love

My girls are outside eating fresh, warm local bread and butter. I hear shrills of laughter, mixed in with Olivia's high pitched "mom" voice as she talks to and soothes her baby dolls. I've got local tomatoes on the vine washed and ready to be made into a marinara sauce for tonight's dinner. The sun is shining, there's a slight breeze and, inbetween Olivia's screams for help (a doll pack and play must be folded down this very second), all is calm. Life is, oh, so good.

In the back of my mind, I'm wondering how I forgot to pick up some port wine from the store an hour ago. The marinara sauce would taste so much better with a few tablespoons of it added. I'm hoping Matt makes it home soon and we can sit together, as a family, before the girls get tired and cranky and practically beg to be put to bed.

Lastly, I'm thinking about "Eat Pray Love." I finally finished it (I got stalled on vacation and it took a bit to pick it back up again). So many people have asked me what I think of the book. So, here it is:

Eat (Italy) was yummy! I salivated all the way through it! I dreamed up what I was going to cook and eat next and sought out new restaurants and local dishes. I kept thinking, "Ohhh, I must have went to all the wrong places in Sicily! I never had food that good in Italy!" I was starving for more Italy by the time she landed in India (Pray) and planning a trip to Rome in my mind.

I had a very hard time staying focused as soon as she landed in India (Pray). I can't say I know a single yoga position and, while I've tried mediating in the past, its not something I feel comfortable doing. I would love to attend yoga classes for core and strength building, however, that's about as far as I imagine myself going. While I appreciated her spiritual journey at the ashram, I found myself skimming through India.

Everyone loves a good love story and acts of kindness. So, I enjoyed Bali (Love). Though, I did find myself thinking that maybe she found a "father" figure in her older boyfriend. Someone a lot of women with somber pasts turn to. After such a journey, I was a little disappointed to read she found not only an older man, but one with a similar past of divorce and heartbreak. I find myself wondering if she learned anything, really. It's easy to reach out to someone with a similar past, although, not always wise (in my opinion). Then again, that kind of thing just works for some people, therefore, I hope it works for her.

There were several times that I found myself comparing my past with her journey. It was during those times that I thought she just a bit dramatic with it all. However, I'm sure my close friends would say I was dramatic too. Seven years ago (or was it eight - funny how time really does fade bad times), I walked away from a relationship that had destroyed me. It was a long relationship (seven years) filled with constant tears and heartbreak. It took me begging a third (and final) therapist to help me leave a man I didn't want to leave, but knew I had to. After several months, one night, with the words of my therapist sticking in my mind, I walked out. Left him standing there, confused and shocked, that after all of the years he walked in and out of my life (and me allowing it), I finally got the nerve and self-respect, to leave. Seven years of heartbreak and sorrow laid to rest as I entered the world that had been passing me by and really started to live in it!

Look at my life now! A great husband, wonderful, healthy kids and, while the deployments are hard, the rest of it is filled with one fantastic journey after another. I LOVE it!

I was moved by the author's honesty and bravery for sharing so much of her journey to happiness with the rest of the world. I would love to follow-up on her journey. I wonder if she has a blog...

10 comments:

Amie Davis said...

Glad you enjoyed the book. I just couldn't put it down. Made me want to take my very own self-exploration journey!! Let me know if you find the author's blog - I too would find it very interesting!

The Smith's said...

Thanks for you thoughts. I know it will be a book I read again.

I liked Italy but my favorite part was India. I felt like she struck a core when she spoke of silence and the challenges it brings. Personally, I have found so much inner peace by allowing my silence to take over and let go of my past. My feelings of Bali were SO similar. I was extremely disappointed with her "brazilian lover" and found myself speeding threw it because I was so disappointed that she was falling in love again. I wanted her to love herself for a whole year. That was her goal! She didn't follow through. I felt like she laid down to her weaknesses. All-in-all, the book was amazing and I will read it again. Maybe next time I will have a different image on the book's chapters because I, too, will be in a differnt place in my life.

brenda said...

I got stuck after Italy too! I love how couragous you were to leave that relationship! Go Nat! I will post more about Nora's first days at school...

Natalie said...

I love how posts can turn into open forums!

Yes, I felt she laid down to her weaknesses too. I found myself asking, "she's SO not doing this is she?" After such a powerful journey, I felt like everything she had discovered was slipping away! I had to convince myself that she had resolved and let go of so much, that it wasn't all for naught and that her journey was still the best thing she could have done for herself...

The Matthaidess' said...

I purchased this book a few weeks ago. I haven't started it yet (I'm still reading Lipstick Jihad), but after all of these positive remarks, I can't wait to read it!

Kellie

Katie said...

I loved India the best and Italy the second best. I am fascinated by yoga/meditation. In fact, yoga is the only "exercise" that I have ever loved in my life. But I SUCK at being calm and still (and silent? Yea right.) So I was interested reading that part. I so wish I could go to an ashram and try all that!

Also, your dinner sounds awesome!

Katie said...

Oh, and I agree with Jamie...I was annoyed that she fell in love again so fast! But, I guess she is still with him and still happy, so I guess it was all good....

sf mom said...

Thanks for posting your comments at EPL, Nat. I loved this book, especially the part in India. I'm always on a spiritual journey to "seek contentment." While I think I'm seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, there is always room for improvement. I even sought out the same yoga lineage that she studied because I have studied yoga and meditation for many, many years. The book helped me to figure out certain parts of my life too.

What I think is so great, besides that she is a great writer and cracked me up throughout the book, is that I could relate to her journey. Who hasn't wanted to take a year(or 5 minutes:) to "find out who they are?"

I saw Elizabeth Gilbert speak in conversation with Anne Lamott a few months ago and I very much enjoyed their insight into writing. It was a wonderful evening.

Natalie said...

T,

When I tried meditation several years ago, it made me so uncomfortable, it took me a while to shake it off.

However, I will say that that during my journey to break free from that relationship many years ago, I did find spending a lot of time alone, walking, dining out, reading, etc. very helpful. For me, spending time alone, with my thoughts and even talking to myself, is very very theraputic. In fact, I still cherish quiet time alone and find it so helpful in recapturing myself and finding calm.

What I appreciated about this book and comments, is that everyone has their way of finding themselves and happiness. I'm very intrigued to see how different we all are.

The Blech's said...

Hi Natalie! Thanks so much for the tips on walking! I am definitely going to check all those sites out. I think that is a much better idea than trying to use the stroller. Thanks again and I hope things are going great for you and your cute family!!