A few days ago, I found this book in my older sister's bookshelf, she already left it behind having moved with her husband last year. This piqued my interest because I remember her reading this when she was struggling to find herself back when she was at my age. I've never really gotten around it as there are so many other books that I wanted to read. But now that I'm currently experiencing the same dilemma, I figured it is only fitting for me to read it at this time.
In her early thirties, Elizabeth Gilbert had everything a modern American woman was supposed to want--husband, country home, successful career--but instead of feeling happy and fulfilled, she felt consumed by panic and confusion. This wise and rapturous book is the story of how she left behind all these outward marks of success, and of what she found in their place. Following a divorce and a crushing depression, Gilbert set out to examine three different aspects of her nature, set against the backdrop of three different cultures: pleasure in Italy, devotion in India, and on the Indonesian island of Bali, a balance between worldly enjoyment and divine transcendence.
Although some may argue that Elizabeth's journey through self-discovery was superficial and hard to follow, it ultimately gave us something truly unique and contemporary and it spawned numerous self-help articles, stories and books with the same theme. Leading to the conclusion: empowering oneself is an essential part of life no matter how you go about it as long as you reap the utmost benefits; which is finding meaning and satisfaction in your life. I loved that she followed her heart's desire instead of being stuck in a life that looks pretty on the outside but flawed and jarred on the inside, which I think is the most powerful message of the book. There are numerous lessons to be learned from this book which makes it noteworthy. Another one of my favorites would be the importance of self-worth. My favorite quote from the book is, "The only person who will never leave you is you." Despite all the trials and challenges that life throws your way, always believe in yourself and be happy with who you are. Only you can bring yourself from an dreadful state to a better place.
What makes the story even more endearing was her unapologetic honesty - a profound narration of one person's struggle to live through the joys and devastation that we all experience. And I felt like she was talking to me like a big sister or a mentor. Reading this made me realize that I'm not alone in this crazy world and it helped me considerably with my own struggles.
Being an enthusiastic traveler, I loved reading about the different backgrounds and some facts about the countries she stayed in. I especially liked the Italy part where she was able to find herself whilst getting lost in an unfamiliar place. It reminded me of one of my favorite quotes, which goes like this "Travel often. Getting lost is sometimes the only way to find yourself".
Overall, I think this is a wonderful book which gives the reader new and valuable insights from a woman who experienced firsthand extreme struggle and loneliness and eventually she was able to triumph over them.
My rating: 3.5 stars