I never read Eat Pray Love but I was not a fan of the movie, specifically the main character played by Julia Roberts. She led a charmed life and by her own admission was supremely unhappy with the outcome of her very own choices. The antidote to her ennui and dissatisfaction was to travel to exotic places to eat delicious foods, meet intriguing people, explore her spirituality, and generally find herself. She was so annoying. It seemed incredibly self-indulgent, even offensive, that she bemoaned the self-imposed, practically perfect circumstances of her life and had the means and audacity to change the course of it. Talk about first world white women problems. There are countless people in this world who struggle with far worse with far less. She had the nerve to be unhappy for no apparent reason.
I’ll be the first to admit that I’m probably luckier than I deserve (not that I don’t work hard for what I have — I work very, very hard). I have the best husband and children ever; I’m just about to have a terrific career. And yet lately I’ve been suffering from some inexplicable dissatisfaction with the course of my life and a nagging urge to experience something completely different. Like third-world-Asia different.
In all fairness, it’s not really an inexplicable dissatisfaction. I can explain it pretty well: I want to spend more time with my family and enjoy my life. I want to run away from reality instead of dealing with it. I want to be happy, even though I already should be. In short, I have turned into Julia Roberts. To my dismay I can’t distinguish myself from her stupidly annoying character in Eat Pray Love. I’ve thought about it a lot and the best defense I can come up with is that I would rather be hypocritically happy than miserably principled.
And so the family and I are about to embark on the biggest adventure of our lives to date. For the first time in a long time, I’m excited, terrified, elated, curious, and hopeful about the impending future, and eager to see what it holds for us. Life is going to be unpredictable, and the promise of endless possibilities is a beautiful thing.