Thursday, September 8, 2016

Changing the work we do

When I finally found "Eat, Pray, Love" by Elizabeth Gilbert, I'm pretty sure after everyone else had found, read, devoured or destroyed it, I soared on the words and thoughts and feelings. I copied down the sentences that resonated and I bought a copy for each of my three best friends.
None of them loved it like I did. I raved and swooned and gushed to each of them about how amazing it was and it was going to change their very thinking and they wouldn't be able to get it out of their heads. I was wrong. They didn't agree. And I didn't even mind. I was clear about what I got out of that book and I was thrilled it spoke to me the way it did. I actually felt bad for them, for not getting out of it the juice that I got!
I spent a lot of years feeling sheepish about what I liked. But as I've gotten older, I realize that's a waste of time. I often feel extreme about certain things: books, songs, movies, articles in the newspaper... the littlest things can make me sob or laugh out loud or dance down the street without a care who's looking. Years ago, I remember lamenting to a friend of mine that the intense lows I would feel just seemed to be excruciating when they came and he reminded me that we were the kind of people that were lucky to feel intense lows, because it allowed us to also feel the intense highs!
It used to be important to me to be one of the same: someone that liked the same fancy wine as others or read the high-brow books listed in the book review, or know the names of someone everyone seemed to know about... now, I don't care. I'm not embarrassed when I don't know something, I'm happy to learn about it. I'm not curtailed by my lack of taste, or blush at my awkward stares. I'm interested. I'm curious. I'm out there. I'm observant. And I hate pretending, in all it's forms.
So, when I read the author Miss Gilbert's facebook post recently where she came out with some pretty big news, that clearly is a major life change and she wrote that she could no longer pretend because...
"Pretending is demeaning, and it makes you weak and confused, and it's also a lot of work. I don't do that kind of work anymore."
I was extremely moved. I agree completely. I don't do that kind of work anymore either.