Eat pray love…
I did not enjoy reading this book. It was like that new guy in the office that everyone raves about but when you see him, you still ask for the new guy because your thirst is not satisfied. With every page I flipped, I could not help but roll my eyes at Liz’s (the writer’s) apparent lack of awareness of her own privilege; I only finished this book because of “media pressure” and I sincerely hoped that she would redeem herself at the end of the book with some possible insights, wisdom or something.
I love love and I believe that companionship enhances feelings and emotions that I already have. With no doubt you can be happy, you can have fun, be challenged and be fulfilled without the validation of a man. Throughout the whole book Liz was obsessed with male attention which made me question why she went on this journey searching for her best self. In my opinion she flirted her way through the book and just fell into the trap of the western world and their obsession with eastern religions.
In as much as I hated how “Eat, Pray Love” was written, along with the writers ignorance, the objectives of the journey is what inspired me to do it. The objective being able to answer the simple question, “what do I want?” Your identity and happiness is definitely at the end of the honest answer to the question.
…made me do it.
Sometime last year I went on a quest for pleasure and devotion in the Far East and Far West of Africa. The objective of this trip was to find the sweet spot between mind and my soul. I wanted to find my best self in every aspect of my life.
I decided to go on this journey because of three simple reasons. I was at a stage in my life that my vision for self was a little blurry, I could not recognise myself and lastly I could afford it (I am beginning to sound like Liz). This article is less about the book and what it made me do but about the little nuggets that I found interesting.
While walking through the streets of Africa I was like a curious little child, always asking why.
I encountered a businessperson from Eretria, Solomon. Unfortunately, it had to be a man but I did not go looking for it. Solomon had his ducks in a row but did not have a companion so he was on a pursuit of love, he was visiting a woman he had never met but was certain she was the one because they had been chatting for months. Solomon left me with the following things to reflect on:
- Life is too short, do what makes your heart happy.
- Your family should be your core.
- Use a condom.
- Love is worth the sacrifice.
- My man was born in the eighties.
- Have lots fun
Out of all the things he said during our encounter, I hold this one point more dearly; for you to evolve, do everything fully.
In Addis Ababa I overindulged, I ate local cuisines that my palate could not recognise, I danced with strangers and I consumed an array of beverages. I had conversations with everyone who was willing to listen. It brought so much joy into my life because for once in my life I was able to converse without trying to make a first impression or satisfy a preconceived idea of who I should be. It was so freeing and refreshing. I reflect on the following nuggets from this experience:
- Life is too short to be insecure.
- You need to marry your friend (Lessons from married men who love their kids but not their wives).
- Respect is important to woman as much as it is important to men.
- Do not put value to money.
- Be authentic; do not doctor the way you talk or express yourself to suit a stereotype.
- The sacrifices your parents made were not for you to be mediocre.
During my travel between Abidjan and Yamoussoukro, I focused on feeling instead of doing. This was the hardest part of the journey because I was nursing the hangover of overindulging in pleasure. It did not surprise me that the biggest reflection for me was on SELF CONTROL! The contrast of the high then low allowed me to look in deeper than the surface. I felt like I was in forced rehabilitation. Because I was out of time and the constant reminder of the objective of the trip, I pushed myself harder and allowed myself to search deeper. In addition to self-control this experience taught me the following:
- I am worth it.
- You need to be in the present because tomorrow is just an idea.
- Do everything with passion.
In as much as the objective of visiting Elubo was to balance out pleasure and devotion it is still a journey I go on daily with intention.
To answer the big question, I am clear about what I want and I am unapologetic about it!
A Philanthropist by night and a marketer by day. She is always keen to listen and learn.
Thank you for sharing your journey. I am inspired to continue travelling and exploring the world. I appreciate your honest thoughts on the book and how you made the ‘Eat,Pray,Love’ journey your own. There are many lessons to be learnt out there and you do not need to travel far. We have many hidden gems within our own continent of Africa.
Travel and Books.That’s all I really need! :)-Lerato