Eat. Pray. Love.
That was the book that started it all.
Elizabeth Gilbert tells her story. And in ours,(in our two stories) there is nothing remotely similar.
Except that we both want out.
And that’s not true either. I didn’t want out.
I fought. To stay in.
But I fought for something that didn’t exist.
Gilbert says about romance, “Sometimes, I’m a victim of my own optimism.”
And that’s me.
I played hard. And with optimism.
But I’ve decided that I was playing basketball and he was playing soccer and no matter how hard you fight, or how hard you play you can’t win at soccer if you’re driblbling with your hands.
And did I seriously just try to create a sports metaphor?
I’m thinking it was actually nothing like that, except there were different rules.
And dang it! I really don’t like soccer.
And I’m out.
And I don’t want back in.
Anyway, she’s a writer. She gets an advance. She sets out.
And as I read—
I kept thinking. Oh my gosh. Does she know that her Mother is going to read this? I mean, that’s what I always think. I will just tell you right now, there are days that I wish I had a no-moms-or-dads-allowed blog.
Or a girl’s only blog.
Yes! Just like the sign on Emma Claire’s door. “No BOYS allowed (except for friends).”
So basically, it’s a sign telling her brother to keep out.
But oh the stories I could tell if only my parents weren’t reading. And those darn boys.
A few weeks ago, I got word that I had missed a memo. I got the memo.
I tried to catch up to the memo.
There was gauze and tape and band aids and—
Oh! Wouldn’t you like to know, but I can’t tell you because of the boys.
And my mom. 🙂
But Elizabeth wrote and there were no keep-out signs. Everyone was welcome.
And I remember reading, thinking I want to go to Italy and speak Italian (or at least speak with a little accent). I remember thinking, I want to eat my way through cafes and drink expensive wine (which, whatever, I don’t drink wine, but if I did, wouldn’t it be fun to do it in Italy?), and I remember thinking I want to wake up and pray and walk and pray and lie down and pray and after all the praying, I want to go to an exotic island and meet exotic men.
And then perhaps more praying. You know, after said island.
And some days I feel like I’m on an island. Only without the men. And my mom says to me, did something happen? Did somebody hurt your feelings?
And she knows me.
And even if I had a no-parents-allowed blog, she would still know.
And she remembers the years (lots of them) where I hid the truth. It wasn’t just that I pretended to be happy. It’s that I pretended to be OK.
When I wasn’t.
When we weren’t.
And I remember this quote from Gilbert’s book:
“All I could say was, “I don’t know what to do.” I remember her taking me by the shoulders and looking me in the eye with a calm smile and saying simply, “Tell the truth, tell the truth, tell the truth.”
I’ve never played soccer. Or basketball. And I’ve never been to Italy. And there are days, quite simply, that I don’t know what to do.
But each day as we, Coulter, Emma Claire and I, yes as we learn better how to live in this place; how to grow in this space, I can show love and respect and I can nurture and protect and with each new phase, new questions are raised and all I have to do—
Is tell the truth.
Tell the truth.
Tell the truth.