What I took away from this part of the book wasn't as profound as the rest of the book. Perhaps this is due to being able to slightly relate, and having moved on from that part of my life. She went through heartbreak, not knowing what to do with her marriage, whether to stay or to go. Ironically, just over two years ago, I was wondering the same thing about my relationship and life that I had cobbled together with my ex. Fortunately, he and I are still friends, speaking frequently, and happy for one another. I couldn't imagine it any other way. These first 36 stories were about how she sought to find pleasure, and she chose to do it with food...in Italy. Even going so far as Italy, and getting away from her usual routine and her comfort zone of home, her demons still crept in. It just goes to show that you can run away from your problems, but sooner or later you will have to face them.
"It is better to live your own destiny imperfectly than to live an imitation of somebody else's life with perfection."
When I went on a 5 day retreat a couple of months ago, I had to take that many days of vacation. I never in my wildest dreams thought that I would spend vacation that way. Upon leaving, I was seriously wanting to go on a two week retreat. Now...I want to go stay in an Ashram for a few weeks. To be able to devote myself to a practice for that long, without the distractions of life would be so empowering.
On retreat, it was so nice to not check the news 20 times a day, or facebook, or email, or my phone. Everything was scheduled and planned for me. The only person that could distract me was me.
I think she saved the best for last with this one. And why not finish a year of self discovery with love? Her time in Indonesia came when she was starting to settle into herself and be at peace. Many times during this segment, I found myself thinking that it could have been my thoughts that were written, except of course, I've never been to Indonesia...yet.
"Happiness is the consequence of personal effort."
"The karmic philosophy appeals to me on a metaphorical level because even in one lifetime it's obvious how often we must repeat our same mistakes, banging our heads against the same old addictions and compulsions, generating the same old miserable and often catastrophic consequences, until we can finally stop and fix it."
"Many times in romance I have been a victim of my own optimism."
I need to stop trying to make other people happy, because I won't be able to until I realize what makes me truly happy. While I try not to change people, I think deep down that is what I've wanted in certain instances. Also, I need to be less impulsive with my decisions, acting on what I really want to do, rather than just going with the flow to keep everyone else happy before myself. I need time for me. Don't get me wrong, I still want to hang out with my friends, and I still will help them when I can, but I also need to realize when enough is enough, to just say no to the seemingly endless flow of distractions. My eyes are open and I can't wait to see.
It's a great book, and what I took away from it is just what I needed to. Any other time in my life, it would have been something completely different.