Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Finally.. Why I like Eat Pray Love

If you are a friend of mine on FB, you know I was so very excited about the movie Eat Pray Love coming out. I barely said two words about it after I saw it. Not because it was bad, no - because.. well.. my satisfaction was complete.

I know I told you guys that I read the book years ago. If you have not read it, please do. One of my friends recently read it and she said, "I didn't like it. " I smiled and said - it's because you are happily married to one man, with children. Perhaps you cannot relate to it.

Another friend read it (not divorced) and she said it was "life changing." Maybe that was speaking to the "taking an adventure" side of her spirit.

For me - it was totally relate -able. I was in a relationship in my 20's (married) trying really hard to make it work, but knowing it was not what I really wanted. Even though he asked for the divorce in the end, I had prayed for it for years. Like "Liz" in the book, I used to go into the bathroom and take a bath every night and just cry and pray for the answer. I knew divorce was wrong, but I needed a sign on either how to make it right or leave.
(You don't see that in the movie.)

I do agree with her line, "What was harder than staying in that marriage, was actually leaving the marriage." I have never dragged on a decision like I did on that divorce of mine.

Like "Liz", I ,too, had been collecting books and magazines and items to travel. I started laughing at the part in the movie where she mentioned instead of collecting "baby" things in her wish box, she had National Geographic.. That was me! (But add a "Let's Go Europe" book I went through page by page .. with written notes from the age of 18.)  I also have maps, language books, peace corps application, and a few Frommer's.

That passion for life that she lost - I went through a phase just like that.
I always tell my friends in their 20s planning to get married to THINK before they do it. I can tell, too many times, these girls really just want to be "married" not thinking about what that really means. They want to create that "family" and feel all grown up. What they don't realize, unless you are completely well adjusted - it might not work. (60% chance in America it will fail.)

By the time you hit your 30s - something snaps. You realize - Wait a damn minute - there are things I still want to do, if I stay.. what will happen? I think this "mid life" crisis happening earlier is a result of too many people in my generation (X) that watched as parents together for 30 + years end up splitting after the kids are grown to pursue their interests. I think my generation finds that a ludicrous idea of waiting - and just rolls with it now.

And so I did.

Following my divorce (about 5 months later) I booked a trip to Egypt. My friend, Crystal, handed me a book for the plane, "Hey, read this. I think you will like it" was all she said.
I read it on the plane and while in Egypt and feel in love. As I was waking up each morning hearing the "call to prayer" I would walk the streets of Alexandria, smell the salt air from the Mediterranean Sea, taste the spices in the foods, laugh over cappuccino.. then head back to the house (mid day) to "siesta" and read. I would be transported to Italy and India and Bali. (Which if you have ever been to Egypt- it is kind of all three rolled into one. Italy - because the food is sooo similar. India (hello - Cairo? Traffic? Poverty?) and Bali - for the sea.)

I met the love of my life and still remember when he asked me to marry him I almost felt sick. I thought to myself, "Am I crazy? I am horrible at relationships.. clearly. What am I thinking?" But I did it... and in the end, I think it was the right decision. I , too, crossed over and trusted fate and chose to love, again.


Bossy Betty said...

I can totally see why the book resonated with you!!

Leanne said...

Wow --- you are Liz, aren't you? So cool to learn even more about you! I have to say that I would consider myself a happily married woman, with children. But I think all women can relate to challenges within yourself that Liz goes through. I think all women (at least, me) think about this big picture of life - and where we fit in it. I think one of the parts that I most enjoyed was the scene in Italy, around the table, when the group was coming up with the one "word" that defines different cities around the world. Then they each determined what their "one word" was. Liz said - writer, and her friend told her "writer" was not who she was - it was what she did. I think I struggle with the word that defines me ... I'm a Mom, a wife. But that is not what defines me.

This book, and this movie, was life changing for me, as I am searching for who I am inside. Great post, Nicole. Great great post.

Cecelia Winesap said...

Awesome post! I loved the book too. I hope the movie does it justice.

rebecca said...

I remember when the book came out I was at the bookstore, browsing, saw the catchy title and opened the first page. That was it. Any story that began with such a funny beginning had to be good. I didn't put it down until I had read it all. It was a great book and I'm glad, from what I read here, I won't be disappointed in the movie. I was on the fence with that because I didn't think the movie was going to make the book justice.

Now, onto your life. Wow! You have lived and I loved that you shared it here and I felt like I was reading another wonderful book as well!

You have a great blog here and I will certainly return...

Miel Abeille said...

How sweet! With every post, it sounds more and more like you & the Egyptian have the real deal. How lucky you are!

dewin said...

Oh my gosh! You're Liz!!! How funny is that! I never thought about it. I have never been divorced, but I did not get married until 29, and I think you are so right in your advice to your friends. I went through a phase where I just wanted to be married in my early 20s and thank God the guy did not, or I would've been Liz too. I also think that the social and moral funk surrounding divorce needs to disappear. It is way out of date, and I dont think anyone should be made to feel guilty for wanting things for themselves. Thank God you had the courage to overcome it all. I wish more people stuck in miserable marriages would too.


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