I'm the first to put my hand up to say I jumped on board the Eat, Pray, Love train. Read it, watched it and was even tempted to buy the second book, 'committed'.
What's not to love? the food, the travel, the giving up of all responsibilities to gallivant around the world not to mention the hunky brazilian she hooks up with in the end.
But it kind of got me thinking, yes I really enjoyed the book, it was well written by someone who appears to be down to earth who has more than her fair share of baggage but why has it been so popular?
If you boil it down, it's basically a cashed up childress pre-menopausal woman who gets burnt out by wanting it all. She gets it all, the husband, the house, the coupley lifestyle only to realise she doesn't want it all in the end.
What makes a book about someone just picking up and doing what they want so popular? So inspiring? She didn't cure cancer, volunteer in uganda or overcome a physical challenge. She did everything for herself and good on her, but lets not put her on a pedestal, anyone can do that quite easily if they genuinely want to. If they are brave enough to put themselves first.The fact that it was such a huge thing in the eyes of women around the world to me is actually a bit of a shame. Sure it is an inspiration, but why the acclaim?
I don't mean to sound bitter, twisted or grumpy in general, but the fact that this book is so phenomenonly popular is because people just don't do what they really want and deep down. I'm sure some even vicariously lived through Liz and her adventures or even copied her travelling journey. But where is the pride or individuality in that? Are we so unsure of what we want that we blindly follow the exact example of someone who did something brave which was right for her and her alone.
I'm only 27 so I don't claim to know everything about the world, or how it works or how it will work in the future, but in my experience, the people I've met so far, somehow, along the way, have forgotten the things that make them who they are. The things that they want to do at the end of the day, or before they get up everyday. That is before work just gets in the way and the only thing that they feel like doing is to sit in front of the tv and watch Friends and Xfactor re-runs. That's what has made this book so bloody popular
When you spend the weekend and evenings late into the night working to meet deadlines instead of doing something which makes you smile you start to forget that making yourself happy is a choice.
And believe you me its not only a choice, but its a commitment. It's not something you can expect to arrive in your lap courtesy of the stork or tooth fairy.
What is different about the Eat, Love, Pray story is it came to such a point that she had to dump, cut and run. Why does it have to come to that?
The one thing I got out of the book which has stayed with me and will continue to was a italian saying. It goes like this: Every day for seven days a man goes to pray at the feet of a saint three times a day. Every time he offers the same prayer. "Please, please saint, please let me win the lottery'" He offers this prayer constantly, until finally on the 8th day the Saint breaks free in frustration of the cement holding him together and reaches down to the man and grabs him by the shoulders and says "Well son, please please, buy a ticket."
So I suppose my question is, do you have yours? And in case you didn't realise, a newly printed signed copy of Eat, Pray, Love is not and never will be the ticket...