Tuesday, August 24, 2010

When a Book Can Change Your Life

Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth GilbertLong before Julia Roberts hit the big screen as Liz, Eat, Pray, Love changed my life.The novel, a memoir by Elizabeth Gilbert chronicling her travels in pursuit of happiness, appeared on shelves at about the same time that I was going through a divorce.  Married at 20 and divorced at 24, I closely related to Gilbert's tale, though she was ten years my senior when she wrote it.
If only I'd had the money, I would have taken the same spiritual journey that Gilbert relates in her novel.  Looking back on it now, however, I wish I had found a way - teaching English abroad, or working for the DoD schools.  My own spiritual journey was far less exciting, though not at all less meaningful.  And the only thing I had to do was write.  I wrote poetry, short stories, one-act plays - anything that would allow me to bring myself back to the surface of my life.  Somewhere along the way, between high school and the divorce, I'd lost myself.  Writing became my reinvention.  And then, one day, there I was again.  I wasn't the divorcee.  I wasn't the failure or the lonely teacher anymore.  I was simply myself - lacking all the weighted titles and labels. 

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