Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Eat, Pray, Jenny

Just wanted to preface this and say thank you to Rachel Wilkerson for making it easier for bloggers to voice a different side of our stories. This is my owning it post.


Here goes:

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Coincidentally, this is my 110th post, and it feels semi-monumental. Funny how life works in these kind of ways. It's emotional, and not eating- or exercise-related whatsoever. Unless you count the gelato- and pasta-eating portion of Italy as part of Eat, Pray, Jenny.

Feel free to, because I did my fair share of that in Italy. If you're ever in Cagliari, eat at Peter Pan gelato. I recommend Baci, tiramisu, straciatella and hazelnut. Preferably all in one cup.

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I just got back from seeing the movie "Eat, Pray, Love" in theaters. It took me a while to get around to seeing it, what with HLS, Chicago, New Jersey, Georgia, school, work, internships and everything else.

I'm so, so, SO glad I finally did.

Elizabeth Gilbert says something in her book that resonated so much with me, I became immediately attached to her story. She discusses how all her life, she's been in a relationship. Well, for all of my adult life, I've been in some state of emotional attachment to someone, or the idea of someone.

After high school, I met someone, and stayed with him for 4 years. It was good, for a long time. When it got bad, I desperately clung to the good.


Months later, there was the possibility of something a little later, but the universe likes to attempt to make my life into this movie. It's unfortunate, but I'm trying to be a big girl about it.

Seeing Eat Pray Love was like seeing parts of my life played out on the silver screen.

More often than not, my Eat Pray Love relationship style revolves around this quote:

"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."

On my more optimistic-about-love days, I think more along these Gilbert-esque lines:

"This is a good sign, having a broken heart. It means we have tried for something. "

My heart has been crushed more times than I wish to count this past year. Sometimes I truly wonder if it's better to have loved and lost than not loved at all.

Seeing Eat Pray Love re-ignited the fact that I can do a lot on my own. Though it is great to have a guy around to help carry groceries, like LC said.

Side note: For the past four years of my life, I've wanted to teach with Class Afloat, an amazing, life-changing study abroad program I was a part of my freshman year of college. I joined a dependent princess of an 18-year-old with no ambition and left 10 months later, such a different individual that I am often embarassed at who I used to be.

To give that knowledge to someone else, male or female, that they can do it by themselves, take care of life, be on their own, be independent and more importantly not dependent on anyone, would be a blessing words can't begin to express. Almost five years later, I still struggle expressing to others outside of the program exactly how changed by my experiences I was.

Being a part of Class Afloat would be my take on Eat, Pray, Love: the way I could pass my love out into the world, and give another student what the program gave me.

There are many aspects of life I would be giving up should I choose to go it alone. I understand those aspects most on Sunday nights, and think a lot of single women (and men) would understand and agree with that statement.

But would a temporary break truly ruin everything?

I never again want to regret missing out any experiences because I let someone or something overtake my values. These past months of my college experience have been vastly different than they ever were before.

So this is that time. I hereby dub my last fall senior semester "Eat, Pray, Jenny."

Good thing I already have the aviators to recreate that scene.

I'm going to find out what I love and want out of life, work to make my dreams come true, enjoy every last second I have in Gainesville, and (try) not force anything to happen that isn't meant to.

I expect many pro-con lists to be made during the next couple of months.

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7 comments:

  1. Such a great post. Thank you for sharing. I loved the book Eat, Pray, Love, and like with you, it resonated with me. I hope you take a chance on Class Afloat. It sounds like it could be a life changing experience.

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  2. Amazing post girl. I'll admit that I'm not a big fan of Eat, Pray, Love, but I absolutely love the courage and independence you've gained from it...it's awesome that you're comitting yourself to taking time to discover yourself!!

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  3. Fantastic post. You address so many issues that have plagued myself in the past, however, for me it was more the absence of many relationships that got me to questioning if I could do it on my own, and really what choice would I have? Thankfully, I have met a wonderful person to share my dreams and ambitions with, but I never forget that I know I would be ok if I were on my own. This strength comes with experience, and it seems that the program you mentioned really helped out out. Great post!

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  4. I loved this...I'd admire you for having the courage to take control!

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  5. I just wanna say "Amen sista!"

    seriously, live it up this semester. proud of you!

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  6. awww love love love LOVED this!! i think you're gonna have a great year and i'm excited to see your pros/cons lists! it'll be totally fun when you can look back on all of your upcoming posts and know that you lived your best semester :)

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  7. I reallly want to see this movie! I'm itching to go to the movie theater and seeee it with my friends :) but i'm not sure it'll be worth the money. Such a great story and good eats ;) i'll wait until it's on DVD.. that's the way i rolll haha

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