Sometimes You Have to Grab Life by the Coattails

As many of my good friends already know, I am obsessed with Eat, Pray, Love and everything Elizabeth Gilbert.  After reading both her aforementioned best-selling memoir, as well as her follow-up – Committed – and watching the film version of Eat, Pray, Love too many times, I have come to hold Elizabeth Gilbert as a personal role-model and inspiration.   Having grown up with a mother who was an english major and is still a literary aficionado, you could say I was raised with an appetite for the written word.  You see, to people like my mother, Elizabeth Gilbert, and myself, language is something at which to marvel.

Last week for Valentine’s Day, I wrote my mother a card for the annual occassion, which concluded with the statement: “Be comforted and fortified by my love and admiration for you.”  My mother was struck by the way that those two words seemed to fit together as distinct yet similar entities. Her inclination to marvel at the juxtaposition of two concepts – that of being comforted and that of being fortified – is a hallmark quality of readers and writers alike.

An Eat, Pray, Love scene that I’m often reminded of whilst writing and wriggling with the creative process is when Liz and Delia are walking down an NYC sidewalk towards the beginning of the film. In describing her infatuation with learning Italian to Delia, Liz remarks: “…every word is like a truffle.”  I have often had similar thoughts when learning Spanish, writing for the newspaper, and more recently, blogging.  There are few better feelings than crafting the perfect sentence that articulates what was previously a mere mental thought.

This is reason number 91 why I am so excited to travel after graduation.  Though I am quite unsure as to what my life’s work will entail in the future, I am increasingly sure that it will include writing in some capacity.  I highly recommend watching the TED Talk I just posted, which features Elizabeth Gilbert’s take on the infamous (mythical) creative genius.  The more I experience, the more I want to write. Living an experience as an individual is one thing, but grabbing said experience by its coattails and transcribing it for others to share is a whole nother animal.

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