This week I chose to re-visit a book that I was not a fan of when I initially picked it up in 2007. Whenever people talked about this book they would gush and say that it changed their lives and would wax poetically about the wisdom that the author Elizabeth Gilbert put forth in this memoir. In 2007 I was in a dark place (going through a separation, figuring out my life) and I was not that invested in Ms. Gilbert's platitudes. A friend of mine picked up this book and was such a great fan, I thought maybe I should pick it up and try again. I mean, it had been three years since I had last tried it out, I had grown (up!!) and I was more mature...
Getting into was pretty easy, but then I found myself having my same old issues with memoirs that I often have - I DON'T CARE!! So I put the book down, walked away and read a magazine or two. When I picked the book up again I realized that I really did care and I put the book down because I read something that hit a little too close to home. Here is the passage:
"I have a history of making decisions very quickly about men. I have always fallen in love fast and without measuring risks. I have a tendency not only to see the best in everyone, but to assume that everyone is emotionally capable of reaching his highest potential. I have fallen in love more times than I care to count with the highest potential of a man, rather than with the man himself, and I have hung on to the relationship for a long time (sometimes far too long) waiting for the man to ascend to his own greatness. Many times in romance I have been a victim of my own optimism."
Well dammit Elizabeth!! I could have written that statement. I make decisions, about life, men, shoes, finances, etc. very quickly. While I can deal with the outcomes of most all of them - that man decision sometimes lands me in a quandary. So, I kept reading this book and I learned some things and I made some more decisions and I decided that I still did not love this book, but I can respect Ms. Gilbert and I appreciate the journey that she took. She stated things that were of course known to me, but that I would lock away and choose not to think about.
I am happy that I read this book again, and that I picked it up so near the end of an incredibly trying year. I will remember what Ms. Gilbert spoke about, I will try to remember that "I think I deserve something beautiful"...that can be a pair of shoes, a new house, a beautiful relationship, or a wonderful book.