eat pray love read

I crossed the street to walk in the sunshine.   ~Elizabeth Gilbert – Eat Pray Love~

I will begin this blog by sharing with y’all that I have not seen the newly-released movie, ‘Eat Pray Love’. I will further expostulate that you shouldn’t either. Well. At least until you’ve read the book and can make an edu-macated decision on whether it might behoove you to do so.

I say this without reservation: I just can’t imagine how they could possibly make a movie as pleasurable as the book.

I CAN’T. THEY CAN’T.

And I believe this with all that I am.

PERIOD. AMEN.

I picked up ‘Eat Pray Love’ at least a dozen times over the past few years. At Barnes & Noble. Borders. Target. I even picked it up once at Kroger while waiting on the Deli Meat Mutilator to finish hacking up my turkey breast.

The book was first published in February 2006. Apparently, I have more Decision-Making Issues than I originally surmised.

Flash forward four plus years and I’ve finally taken the ever-so-calculated leap. I’ve purchased the book. And. As my fellow bookies can whole-heartedly attest, buying a book is the Full Commitment. There is no going back. You’ve spent the cabbage. It’s now up to you to devour every word, every page, every chapter.

 BABY, HE’S YOURS.

And if you should happen to meander through the first few chapters of said book and he begins to look a smidge homely, or the mere sound of his voice begins to make you wish you had rope long enough and strong enough to hang yourself, or you’re finding Mr. Book more than a bit boring, nonsensical, or even downright repugnant, you can’t break up with him.

BECAUSE YOU’VE SPENT THE MONEY.

Or in my case, I just don’t like things left undone. I just can’t do it. I bought it, I must read it. To the very last painfully, dreadful word.

YES, IT SOUNDS LIKE A PERSONAL ISSUE.

However.

This explains why I heart libraries. It is only within the four anonymous walls of a library that I feel liberated enough to drop the book back into the night slot, half unread.

IT’S NOT YOU. IT’S ME. I’M SORRY.

Okay, folks, I’ll now take you back to the program currently in progress …
where was I?

So.

I am a bit beyond halfway in ‘Eat Pray Love’. The book. And I am even more adamant than ever that I have no desire to see the movie. The trailers and subsequent early reviews of the movie tell me that the premise of the movie (apparently only loosely based on the book in that the character is female, blonde, and 30-something) is about a recently-divorced woman who decides to travel the world, eat herself silly, and jump atop foreign men in a quest to find herself.

 PLEASE. YOU’RE RUINING IT FOR ME.

And I shall insert the disclaimer here that perhaps the movie is actually better than the trailers and reviews suggest. I haven’t seen it.

Please refer to paragraph one above.

And since I won’t see the movie and will have no true comparison betwixt the two, I could just be talking off the top of my head. Shan’t be the first time. Talking about things I know nothing about is actually one of my favorite hobbies.

But.

I will speak to what I do know.

What I enjoy so much about the book cannot possibly be translated to the screen. In the book, Elizabeth Gilbert speaks only briefly about her ex-husband, focusing far more on her journey of self-exploration as she spends a year living abroad in Italy, India, and Indonesia. She writes of searching for meaning and purpose in her life. I settle in oh-so comfortably with her authenticity, her ability to delve into herself and her faults without coming across whiney or pathetic. I take delight in the fact that she’s comfortable in her own skin, even when her skin is too tight. Or too loose. And that she is continually seeking.

Her writing is humorous. Meaningful without being preachy. Touching and deep. She tells her story openly, lacking any trace of the need to impress or dazzle the reader. She is what she is. This is her life.

I GET HER.

So.

Julia, we can’t see each other. I’m committed, head-over-heels, to Liz.

IT’S NOT YOU. IT’S ME. I’M SORRY.

breaking up is hard to do

Sometimes, we all need a spot of closure in our lives. That being said I will, with unadulterated shame, admit to being the type of person who needs good, solid endings.  In most everything.

Resolution is my middle name.

Well.  It would be if my parents
hadn’t settled on ‘Renee’.

ANYHOO.

Late last year a long-time friend and I parted ways.  One morning I awoke to find I was unexpectedly deleted from her life. Figuratively.  And quite literally. It seemed rather abrupt at the time.  Startling.   Puzzling perhaps. In the moment, it seemed somewhat extreme.

YOU NO LIKE ME NO MORE?  BUT WHY?

However, with the brilliant clarity of time and space, I’m fairly certain ill feelings had been a simmering undercurrent in our relationship for quite some time.  Being mathematically challenged, however, I apparently wasn’t putting two-and-two together to realize just how large the elephant in the room was growing.

At the time the end arrived, I felt blindsided. And rejected.  But somewhere within me, I also felt a sense of relief.  Not at the loss of the friendship, but that something had happened.  That we had now moved off dead center. 

So.

By nature, I am a talker.  I know, y’all are way shocked.  However. I am, and have always been, of the belief that there is scant little that cannot be resolved by open communication. It was a sobering experience to realize that not all people are of the same mindset. 

Really?  Do y’all believe there are actually people out there who are not interested in dissecting issues to infinity and beyond? 

QUITE ALARMING.

But. 

As part and parcel of that observation, I also realized we had a much bigger issue overriding the fact she didn’t enjoy ruminating on any level even close to the art form I’ve elevated it too.

It was the simple fact we are two uniquely divergent people.

I am terribly introspective. I also err on the side of caution.  While I would love to be spontaneous, it’s clearly not in my character make-up. I tend to think and reflect overly much. I enjoy deep, meaningful discussions.  And when I’ve had enough, I need to be alone.  I need to unplug and be silent with myself.

It is her disposition to be more of a ‘do-er’ than ‘planner’.  She’s spontaneous. She likes to be involved, to be ‘on’. She requires more attention, more often. She craves being with people far more than being alone. 

ALERT: DIAMETRICALLY-OPPOSED PERSONALITIES.

And.  Inevitably, we arrived at the fork in the road. 

I am of the belief that friendship should be uplifting, a partnership that encourages one to strive to be a better self.  Friendship should be a safe haven when things fall apart. 

When it consistently falls short, it’s time to re-assess. 

Over the past several months, I’ve genuinelly accepted the fact we needed to move onto different things.  I can say without any sort of malice, it really needed to happen. I think we both knew it.

I do wish her well. I thank her for the times we were friends. I look fondly on the good times and laughter we shared. I forgive her for her shortcomings in our friendship, as I hope that she forgives me mine.

And in finally committing these thoughts to words, I feel a comforting sense of closure and peace. 

In celebration, I’m going to take my Highly-Introspective, Over-Reflecting Self out for coffee and tell her she’s okay in my book.  And that after all these years, I still love her very much.  Flaws and all.

Because sometimes, she just needs to hear that.