Maria at Bored Mommy got the idea of having herself and others who want to participate read Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert and linking our opinions of the book. There will be four postings; Italy, India, Indonesia, and a final wrap up. There are some possible spoilers ahead.
Now off we go to Italy.
I was very excited to start reading this book. I’m currently in the process of moving (moved from Maryland to Northern California and we are waiting to move into our new house at the end of the week. Also my daughter is cutting her first molar. Oh dear gawd!) so I was concerned about whether or not I can keep up with the book.
In reading the first few pages, all of my stress about the things going on in my life melted away and I found that I didn’t want to put the book down. I stayed up until 3:30 a.m. the first night I had the book. I was instantly transported into Elizabeth’s world. It starts off with her being stuck in a marriage that she wants to end but at the same time chooses to stay in.
Several months later, she gets the divorce process started but it’s not as easy as she was hoping. The relationship between Elizabeth and her estranged husband turns nasty and she spends years trying to get him to finalize the divorce. During this time she also spirals into a deep depression.
Right away I could relate to Elizabeth. She was hoping for her relationship to end civilized, which it didn’t. And she wanted to go on a journey of self-discovery, starting with Italy.
When I was 18 I was in a very toxic relationship that lasted a year and a half too long. I was beat down mentally, emotionally, and physically by my boyfriend. Like Elizabeth, I spent many nights sitting in the bathroom crying and hoping some higher being would give me answers, or better yet the strength to leave the relationship. I did leave several times but would return after some sweet talk and empty promises.
Although Italy is a place that I’ve always wanted to go, Ireland was the country that seemed to call to me. During this relationship, I like to think what partially saved me was the thought that someday I would go to Ireland, what I feel is my spiritual homeland. In some of the worst moments of the abuse, I would imagine packing a few things once he was asleep and just escaping to that beautiful country.
I really admire Elizabeth for her courage to actually go to Italy on her own. By then her divorce was finalized and her on and off relationship with another man was off…sort of. While in Italy she eats incredible food, meets some great friends, and tries to embrace the pursuit of pleasure, while battling her American way of thinking, which is “Do I really deserve this happiness?”
I really like this author’s writing style and would highly recommend reading this book. My mom is currently going through a divorce which came about very sudden. Between my past experiences and her current situation, this book really resonates with me.
Something that really stuck with me was when the author talked about while in a rush one day, she caught a glimpse of herself in a mirror but didn’t realize it was her. She thought for a split second it was a friend, then laughed when she realized the mistake.
During the beginning of her stay in Italy when loneliness had taken ahold of her, she remembered that incident and wrote down this; “Never forget that once upon a time, in an unguarded moment, you recognized yourself as a friend.” To that I say “bella parole per vivere da”*, which translates, beautiful words to live by.
*I don’t speak Italian so I had to depend on google translator. I’m hoping it’s right.