Eat Pray Love is sort of a typical, “Woman has inner conflict- thinks getting a divorce and dating men very different from her husband will help her-discovers like most post divorcees that men are not the answer to everything- goes on a year long travel voyage through Italy, India, and Bali-with lots of soul searching,” type of story. Of course everything falls into place for Elizabeth and she lives happily ever after and is at peace with herself.
Despite my hints of sarcasm, I did enjoy Eat Pray Love. Perhaps I am just jealous that Elizabeth Gilbert was paid in advance to go on her self reflecting journey, by her publishing company as long as she wrote a book about it...a book that as mentioned above, would go on to be a New York Times Best Seller and million dollar movie. I would like to throw it out there that if anyone wants to pay for me to travel the world; I am willing. Unlike Elizabeth, I wouldn’t leave my husband to do so.
A few months back, I did a very backwards thing and saw the movie Julie and Julia, before reading the book by Julie Powell. Julie and Julia is also a New York Times Best Seller and the movie received excellent reviews as well as some Oscar nominations.
Julie and Julia is about Julie Powell and her search for something more. Julie is a young wife, living the same boring life, day in and day out, while commuting to and from her underwhelming government job. Julie is stuck in a rut as the only thing exciting that seems to happen to her is when her garbage disposal breaks. Julie decides to take on something bigger than her, in hopes of finding a life outside of the subway and her job. She cooks her way through Julia Child’s cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, and blogs about it. Despite multiple domestic arguments and some not so masterful French meals, Julie finds her “something more.” It may have helped that Julie’s blog became a worldwide phenomenon, she was interviewed by multiple news sources, was offered a book deal, and the book became a million dollar movie.
Although the book was somewhat different than the movie, (which I loved) I enjoyed it. The Julie in the movie was definitely more lovable and I preferred her to the real life fowl mouthed Julie of the book. Nevertheless, Julie and Julia was the perfect read for me at the perfect time, because not only do I love cooking.......and butter… but I also had just started my very own blog.
Eat Pray Love and Julie and Julia are of course not exactly the same, but both with similar soul searching-independent women tones and happily ever after endings.
My “Why I started a blog” story fits somewhere between Julie Powell and Elizabeth’s Gilbert’s stories, but without such deep highs and lows. I was in a rut of some sort. My rut didn’t have any deep rooted issues with my marriage, childhood, or lack of contentment with my job. It just had to do with me. Luckily, (or unluckily?) I didn’t have to go to India or cook my way through a French cookbook to pull myself out of it.
My husband, being the helpful guy that he is, suggested a blog. At first, like usual, I thought his idea was silly. Instead I started doing things that I always dreamed about doing but for some reason never did. For example: I bought a beach cruiser with a basket and started riding it around town. This made me smile. In fact, if you look closely the next time you see someone riding a beach cruiser, particularly if they have a basket, look for a smile. I made it my mission to seek that smile. I found that smile in many of the things I blog about.
Elizabeth Gilbert writes in Eat Pray Love, “People universally tend to think that happiness is a stroke of luck, something that will maybe descend upon you like fine weather if you’re fortunate enough. But that’s not how happiness works. Happiness is the consequence of personal effort. You fight for it, strive for it, insist upon it, and sometimes travel around the world looking for it.”
Almost a year later, I was continually seeking happiness and feeling it, when my friend Sharon told me she had started a blog. She told me how she used to be in journalism and loved writing. I had a similar story being on the high school newspaper editorial staff. I was always more excited than any normal high school student should be when an English essay was assigned. Sharon told me I should write a blog. I recalled Danny’s idea from a year earlier. I felt a little flutter in my heart, I SHOULD write a blog: A blog about happiness, a blog about the silly little things in my life that have helped me to be me.
Elizabeth found her way by traveling around the world. Julie found hers by a love of cooking, Julia Child, and blogging. I found mine by actually doing what makes me happy. The three of us have our happily ever after, the other two just wound up with a multiple book deals and few million more dollars than I have, but that’s alright because I’ve got my slightly silly world.