A Book A Month | Eat Pray Love

 Woo-hoo! The first book for my A Book A Month Challenge is under my belt, and no better way to welcome this new challenge than with Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. Before Julia Roberts was part of the picture, my friends have been urging me to read this book. Four years, a trip to goodwill and $.50 later, I have finally arrived. As soon as I fell upon this book in the local goodwill, I just knew it was about dang time I made an effort to finally make reading this book a priority.

In my review of Eat Pray Love, there are no spoilers so you're safe if you have not read it!

Eat Pray Love was a great book to start off the year because it talks about some of my favorite things such as travel, self-discovery, love, spirituality, food, meeting new people and learning to be alone. I have surprisingly seen a lot of negative book reviews... mostly about Liz being self-absorbed, privileged, neurotic and whiny. Although she is not my favorite book character, there were a lot of things that I respected about her. I didn't find her decisions to divorce her husband, quit her job and travel to three countries as delusional, unorthodox and crazy. Instead I found them to be imperfect, indecisive, lost (like most of our own decisions) but most importantly courageous. Regardless of the whys behind her decisions, she made an executive one to change her life by traveling the world and I just can't help but respect someone for doing that.

It took me some time to get used to her writing style. It seemed all over the place, jumping from ex-lovers to post divorce scenarios to eating pizza in Italy to childhood memories with her sister. Of course I found her constant impatience as unnerving and annoying, but thing is, we all have those moments. She just wrote about it...in full detail. This book isn't per se, my favorite, but I did learn a lot through her struggles of loneliness, spiritual brick walls, getting over a lover and letting go. Through her journey, I found some peace and tranquility in my own personal chaos. Instead of falling in love with her character or even the storyline, I fell in love with her concepts of searching for pleasure, devotion and balance. Even though she complains about men the most in her book, the male characters in the book were my favorite part! (Hey Richard, Yudhi and Felipe).

Before I delve too much into detail, here are my favorite excerpts: (sorry it's lengthy)

"Il bel far niente" - Italian for the beauty of doing nothing

"l'arte d'arrangiarsi" - Italian for the art of making something out of nothing

"It is better to live your own destiny imperfectly than live an imitation of somebody else's life with perfection." (95)

"We don't realize that, somewhere within us all, there does exist a supreme Self who is eternally at peace." (122)

"Just keep throwing six months at it till it goes away. Stuff like this takes time." (148)

"People think a soul mate is your perfect fit, and that's what everyone wants. But a true soul mate is a mirror, the person who shows you everything that's holding you back, the person who brings you to your own attention so you can change your life. A true soul mate is probably the most important person you'll ever meet, because they tear down your walls and smack you awake. But to live with a soul mate forever? Nah. Too painful. Soul mates, they come into your life just to reveal another layer of yourself to you and then they leave." (149)
 "But I love him. So love him.
But I miss him. So miss him.
Send him love and light every time you think of him and then drop it." (150)

"Devotion is diligence without assurance." (175)

"If faith were rational, it wouldn't be - by definition - faith. Faith is belief in what you cannot see or prove or touch. Faith is walking face-first and full-speed into the dark." (175)

"Destiny, I feel, is also a relationship - a play between divine grace and willful self-effort. Half of it you have no control over; half of it is absolutely in your hands, and your actions will show measurable consequence. Man is neither entirely a puppet of the gods, nor is he entirely the captain of his own destiny; he's a little of both." (177)

"Devo farmi le ossa" - I need to make my bones.

"Happiness is the consequence of personal effort. You fight for it, strive for it, insist upon it and sometimes even travel the world looking for it." (260)

"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 then I have hung on to the relationship for a long time (sometimes far too long) waiting for the main to ascend to his own greatness. Many times In romance I have been a victim of my own optimism." (285)

"Sometimes you count the days, sometimes you weigh them." (306)

In theory, I give this book: