Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Grab Your Book!

It is National Book Lovers Day! Did you all find a few minutes to read your latest book? I did! I finished a very interesting book called The Double Blind. It was not only an interesting read, it also had one of the most fabulous endings. My older sister had loaned me the book, so I automatically had to text her and say, "WOW!" I won't give you anymore details than that! 

Books tend to be my teachers. I can read 500 pages of a book and learn more than I did in a semester of college. Unfortunately, no boss will hire me based on all of the books I have read....Minor detail, right?

Back to my love of reading, think about when you hear a song. Isn't there always one particular lyric that just hits home to you? That is what books do for me. I am thinking back on Elizabeth Gilbert's  Eat Pray Love. The book, if you could get through the various boring parts, taught a lot of lessons. Maybe "taught" is the wrong word. Books tend to make you think....They force you to ask yourself the question,s "What would I do? How does that make me feel? Can I relate to that, Remember when?" 

Thinking back on past relationships, I have been my own worst enemy. That is why this passage in Gilbert's book hit home for me: "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 I have hung on to the relationship for a long time (sometimes far too long) waiting for the man to ascend to his own greatness. Many times in romance I have been a victim of my own optimism."Gilbert hit the nail right on the head for me.... I sometimes see the best in people and when their actions go against their good qualities, I become annoyed. I wonder why they are doing such things when I know what they are really like. Silly me...

Now I have grown...I have experienced a god awful relationship, and I have experienced falling in love with someone who knows me so well that sometimes it, quite frankly, pisses me off. I have reached the point in my life where, like Gilbert says in Eat Pray Love, "I think I deserve something beautiful."

My life is not perfect. Not every day is sunny and sometimes I can be a hateful pain in the ass. Some days I am so bitter about the last 7 months of my life that I become furious with myself..I don't hate myself for feeling the way I do, but I strongly dislike allowing myself to feel such self pity. I make such an effort to find the good in each day that it aggravates me when I struggle with my anger. (I know, sometimes I am too hard on myself. I know, I know...) While Googling quotes from Gilbert's Eat Pray Love, I came across this. I am unsure of when/where she said/wrote it but it seems like something that needs to be included in this post. 

"There is so much about my fate that I cannot control, but other things do fall under the jurisdiction. I can decide how I spend my time, whom I interact with, whom I share my body and life and money and energy with. I can select what I can read and eat and study. I can choose how I'm going to regard unfortunate circumstances in my life-whether I will see them as curses or opportunities. I can choose my words and the tone of voice in which I speak to others. And most of all, I can choose my thoughts" (Elizabeth Gilbert).

Because of my situation, I have been granted so many opportunities. Life with cancer could have been a miserable depressing experience. Yes, some days are horrible. Then there are experiences I never would have received without being diagnosed with melanoma. I have met some of the most amazing people all over the world! The scary diagnosis that turned my life upside down is actually the experience that has made me reexamine my life. It has made me question where I want to go, who I want to be. In Eat Pray Love, Elizabeth Gilbert writes, "So now I have started living my own life. Imperfect & clumsy as it may look, it is resembling me now, thoroughly." My life is one mess. Seriously. They could write a TV series based on the last year of my life. But, I think I am becoming the girl I have wanted to be. I think my life, like Gilbert's, is resembling me. I feel like I have a purpose...

(Gilbert does say though, "I am a better person when I have less on my plate." Boy, I agree there. I know that stress makes me irritable and unkind at times. It is a fault of mine.)

What have your books taught you lately?

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