I'm over here as well today...see if you can figure out where?
At one point in time, quite a few years back, my girlfriends and I tried to get serious about a book club. We were determined to give ourselves a month to read a book and then gather to discuss it. But what we quickly realized is that we could never have a serious conversation about the books we read. Sure we would try. The first five minutes would be a very serious discussion, but then we would realize that we had other more important things to discuss or gossip about, if you will. And only a few months in, our “book club” as we knew it, no longer existed.
One of the first books we read was Elizabeth Gilbert’s, Eat Pray Love. It was an ok book, but at the time it didn’t resonate with me very well, because I was happily married and for the life of me couldn’t figure out how someone could up and leave their life as they knew it to go “find” herself. It just didn’t make sense to me. While I still don’t agree with the reasons she left her marriage (I don’t believe she fought hard enough for it), I do envy what she did. I sometimes wish my life allowed me the same kind of opportunity. But when you have two young boys that you suddenly become responsible for, that dream of traveling the world to find yourself, becomes just that, a dream.
After my divorce, I decided to take my own little trip of sorts to find myself. And by trip, I mean, 4 years of expensive therapy. (For what I forked out in therapy, I could have probably traveled the world twofold, but that’s beside the point.) And even after all of that expensive therapy, I am still amazed that I manage to learn things about myself every day. It’s weird how the slightest thing can spark something in me and end up becoming a “light bulb moment” or learning experience .
My therapist would be proud of the light bulb moment I had this weekend.
I went to see Eat Pray Love with my girlfriends before our girls night out. The book was ok, but it was nothing to write home about, so I wasn’t super excited to see the movie, but I love movies and usually don’t turn down the offer to see one, especially when my girlfriends are going. (on a side note: DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT go see this movie on an empty stomach. The food looked amazing!) As I was watching, Julie Roberts portray Elizabeth Gilbert, she said something so profound and it hit me like a ton of bricks. So I went home, got my copy of the book and found the entire quote and thought I would share it with you.
Here it is.
“Moreover, I have boundary issues with men. Or maybe that’s not fair to say. To have issues with boundaries, one must have boundaries in the first place, right? But I disappear into the person I love. I am the permeable membrane. If I love you, you can have everything. You can have my time, my devotion, my money, my family, my dog, my dog’s money, my dog’s time- everything. If I love you, I will carry for you all your pain, I will assume for you all your debts, I will protect you from your own insecurity, I will project upon you all sorts of good qualities that you have never actually cultivated in yourself and I will buy Christmas presents for your entire family. I will give you the sun and the rain, and if they are not available, I will give you a sun check and a rain check. I will give you all this and more, until I get so exhausted and so depleted that the only way I can recover my energy is by becoming infatuated with someone else.”
And that’s when it hit me. It was that moment in the movie when I realized that I put absolutely everything I have into my relationships. And this, I believe, is why it is often very difficult for me to recover from a break-up or disappointment of any kind within my relationships.
As I see it written down on paper, I’m not proud of that part of me. I’m not proud of who that woman is. I’m sad that she seems to only be able to find happiness and security when she is in love. I’m sad that she can’t see her life for what it really is and I’m sad, that she is 39 and just waking up to this fact.