Elizabeth Gilbert's Eat, Pray, Love is one of my new favorite books. As I read this book I could feel myself relaxing about the stupid little details in life and instead, focusing on what really matters to me. I really began to let go of some stress and allowed myself to enjoy life a little more--and who doesn't need a little dose of 'chill pills' every now and then?
I won't ruin the plot but here is my cliff notes version:
Liz has a minor mid-life crisis and decides to travel abroad for a whole year of her life. She picks Italy for pure pleasure---eating fabulous food while learning one of the most beautiful languages in the world made for a happy journey. Italy is the 'Eat' in the title. She picks India for religious devotion---focusing on her inner soul, in order to experience spiritual enlightenment. India is the 'Pray' of the book. Then she picks Indonesia to find balance between pleasure and spirituality--where she just might find some sort of 'Love' to balance her life wonderfully.
As someone with minor OCD when it comes to structure, organization, and fitting everything into perfect little categories, I love this book. Liz has everything divided into glorious symmetrical sections: three sections of 36 tales which adds up to 108, which is the exact number of beads on Indian prayer necklaces. She strings her tales together as if she is creating a beautiful necklace and I dig it. I like how she picked three countries with the letter "I" and each of them symbolized something unique. I like how she gets all philosophical on us because sometimes I enjoy making my brain hurt with deep questions in life: such as...Who am I? What do I want out of life? Deep stuff, my friends.
Anyway, this is the type of book that inspired me to jot down some of my favorite quotes for future use. And of course, that future use includes sharing some of them on my blog. You ready?
Best quote ever:
p.10 "Moreover, I couldn't stop thinking about what my sister had said to me once, as she was breast feeding her newborn: 'Having a baby is like getting a tattoo on your face. You really need to be certain it's what you want before you commit.' "
Can I get an AMEN? I know a lot of you are in the same boat as me: recently married, getting bombarded with the 'when are you going to pop out a kid?' questions, and wondering if now is the right time. Well, hello, tattoo on my face! I couldn't have said it better myself--not quite ready to commit.
Then there is this quote about depression, which thankfully I have never experienced first hand but some of those closest to me have struggled with this diagnosis:
p.48 "When you are lost in those woods, it sometimes takes you a while to realize that you are lost. For the longest time, you can convince yourself that you've just wandered a few feet off the path, that you'll find your way back to the trailhead any moment now. Then night falls again and again, and you still have no idea where you are, and it's time to admist that you have bewildered yourself so far off the path that you don't even know from which direction the sun rises anymore."
I just think that description is beautiful in some sad way.
This quote runs along those same veins:
p.52" That's the thing about human life--there's no control group, no way to ever know how any of us would have turned out if any variables had been changed."
Here is my new favorite quote about transitions in life, a topic that obviously hits home on this blog. She is talking about a mausoleum in Rome that has made it through some rough times:
p.75 "I look at the Augusteum, and I think that perhaps my life has not actually been so chaotic, after all. It is merely this world that is chaotic, bringing changes to us all that nobody could have anticipated. The Augusteum warns me not to get attached to any obsolete ideas about who I am, what I represent, whom I belong to, or what function I may once have intended to serve. Yesterday, I might have been a glorious monument to somebody, true enough--but tomorrow I could be a fireworks depository. Even in the Eternal City, says the silent Augusteum, one must always be prepared for riotous and endles waves of transformation."
I like it!!
And one final quote for you, my lovelies. Here is is talking about finding true happiness and not wanting it to end.
p.260 "I also keep remembering a simple idea my friend Darcey told me once--that all the sorrow and trouble of this world is caused by unhappy people. ...Even in my own life, I can see exactly where my episodes of unhappiness have brought suffering or distress to those around me. Clearing out all your misery gets you out of the way. You cease being an obstacle, not only to yourself but to anyone else. Only then are you free to serve and enjoy other people."
So yeah, it's pretty much the bomb and I highly recommend reading it. Who else read it? Did anyone get a completely different feel from the book?
Any other books I must read now that I'm finished with this one?