It’s definitely not what you think…
I listen to Eat, Pray, Love.
Ugh… that book… don’t you just love it? It makes my wanderlust swell to crazy proportions and reminds me of all the things I love about travel: eating, culture, freedom, balance, immersion, and disconnecting from the “regular world” to reconnect with myself.
But it does something else for me too – It takes me back to the first time I read that book…
I was in the midst of aggressively driving my career forward, working 80 hours a week, while going to grad school part-time and seriously, seriously hating my life. At that time, my husband and I weren’t married and we were actually living 2.5 hrs apart (on a good day) and I missed him terribly when he wasn’t around, but when we were together, we just worked ourselves to the bone renovating a house he was trying to flip. I seriously don’t know how I made it through that time in my life. (actually, I do… very little sleep, lots of beer and coffee, and just generally being an emotional train wreck)
I read Eat, Pray, Love and I took one thing away: I desperately wanted to escape my life.
Seriously, there is NOTHING I wouldn’t have given to take a year to find myself again. I felt so lost. So tired. So uninspired. So angry and so embarrassed that I was doing all the “right” things and yet I was so unhappy.
Although several years passed between reading Eat, Pray, Love and finally taking myself out of my toxic work environment, healing myself from burnout, and really investing in supporting my marriage, reading that book put me on a path.
Eat, Pray, Love sent me on a 9-week volunteer trip to Honduras in 2008… probably the true first step I took toward healing myself. On that trip, I found solace on my yoga mat. I finally understood how truly independent I was and that I didn’t need anyone else to dictate my path for me. For the first time, I started to appreciate what eating real, whole foods did for my body and mind.
I grew so much in those 9 weeks and I returned home knowing I was ready for my life to change. I returned fully committed to taking my relationship to the next level and knowing that if I couldn’t change the way I worked, I would have to leave… and a year later, I did.
There’s a reason I’m sharing this with you and it’s not because I think you need to escape to the third world to find yourself.
It’s because I want to show you that sometimes the simplest, seemingly insignificant thing (like a book you read for fun) can be the thing that finally allows you to open up to a change.
Maybe it’s just reading this post… that would really make my heart squeal! What will that insignificant and yet monumental moment be for you?