Years ago, I enjoyed a two and a half hour commute.  Who knew this seemingly treacherous commute would change my life.

By hearing Elizabeth’s story, she gave me the opportunity to lessen the judgment of my own thoughts.

I started that commute questioning why I would do this to myself.  I thought life was so important and my car time was wasting it. Almost daily I questioned and doubted myself to no end. It was such a surprise that I even took the job.

The reason I took it was because of an angel on my shoulder. Previously I was working a job that made my creative self die a slow death.  Therefore I was interviewing for new jobs.   When I found one I really liked, but would be an extremely long commute, I reconsidered going on the final interview. The angel (my co-worker) told me to stop acting like a child and go on the final interview.  Off I went, walking down the path of the unknown.  It freaked me out because logically it made no sense.

Back to my two-hour commute — I was entertained watching people drive with their knees and read the morning newspaper all while driving down Route 270.  Lots of crazy sites while I cruised in my 1998 gunmetal blue, stick-shift Jeep Wrangler.  On those hot August days, no air-conditioning had me sweating all the way. It was all fine and dandy until the winter came, which meant Jeep top on, and nothing to keep myself entertained.

Then someone introduced me to audio books. Audio books?  Brilliant! Why did it take me such a long time to discover them?  Best multi-tasking devices ever. In any case, the first audio book to begin my entertainment journey became Eat Pray Love. Both my bestie and my mom told me I needed to read it.  Not really understanding why they recommended it for me, I didn’t really think about it and just agreed to listen. It all sank in when I heard Elizabeth Gilbert’s voice. This is when the real journey began.

All I can say is that book changed my life.  I found myself, after an already 2-hour drive, not wanting to turn off the engine when I pulled into work.  Not because I did not want to go inside (this was one of the best jobs ever).  No, it was because I was mesmerized by Elizabeth Gilbert’s voice and her story.  Everything she was talking about was captivating me.  All of a sudden her voice started giving me the authority to allow everything I was thinking to seep up to the surface.  All of the thoughts I would judge myself for thinking, starting to be allowed out.  By hearing Elizabeth’s story, she gave me the opportunity to lessen the judgment of my own thoughts.

It was Fall 2007, I was 27, married and living in the burbs outside of DC.  This is when I realized I was living the dream of someone else’s and not mine.  I had an amazingly charming and ever entertaining husband, two wonderful loving puppies and my sister and her husband nearby.  With a job in meeting and event planning, I traveled the world and enjoyed perks and exciting times.  What more could a young woman want? Did I even know that I wanted something else?  Only my soul knew.  My brain was far from boarding the soul journey path.

It was Eat, Pray, Love that provided my mind with the words and logic that my brain waves understood.  All of a sudden I had an amazing recognition of life, in a different light.

The rest is history now.  This is why Eat, Pray, Love is a must-read.

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