I’m only reading it because Ellen told me to.
Not because I wanted to.
My impression was that this woman with lots of money and a good life ditched it to “find herself.” While I can connect with that journey, it’s not a reasonable, common-person story. She has enough money to travel the world for a year, eat what she wants, be a tourist, and I just find it hard to believe that she fell down far enough to really get any perspective on what her priorities need to be in a spiritual journey.
What struck me most about the book was the very beginning. The date her life finally fell apart, the day she prayed for the first time was September 9, 2011. 9/11 was a very important part of feeling like her inner and outer worlds were collapsing. The day my world came apart at the seams that I was trying and failing to hold together was September 8, 2011. It feels weird that another woman out there was doing the same thing I was at the same time I was.
However, my journey included POVERTY, stealing money from the kids’ piggybanks for a loaf of bread, HOMELESSNESS, FEAR of abuse and death, a struggle to ever lift my head above water again. Another Oprah bookclub book, A New Earth, I think said something about having to really fall down and see the very bottom before becoming enlightened and I struggle with the book and movie because spending 4 months in Rome eating cheese and pasta is only the bottom if you have IBS and spend every night alone in the bathroom spreading toxic waste.
The movie is entirely different than the book. It’s a bit of fluff, trying to stick to the general story, without the sarcastic whit of the author. It felt like a pointless story except for Javier Bardem, who is never pointless in all his gorgeousness. Thank goodness he wasn’t dying of cancer in this movie.
I’m only on the India part of the book and I can only say that so far my reluctance still stands and that in this economy many of us dream of what the woman started with. Perhaps she should have joined me on my journey, in which I had to deal with basic needs like finding change to eat or having to just leave most of what I owned or being broke or having to go to school and work full time with 3 children or standing in a flood in my basement alone and crying.
Going on a year long quest around the world is a LUXURY and while pain is subjective and depression can hit anyone, I read the book while shaking my head and comparing her weight-gain-my-pants-don’t-fit crisis to having to the two week long panic attack I had when my ex moved to the same town I was living in.