I just finished Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert and promptly posted this fact on Instagram. Here is what I wrote about it:
Finished my 3rd book by Elizabeth Gilbert. Thinking that Eat Pray Love was for my 20s and Big Magic is for my 30s!
I read Eat Pray Love in 2007, I was 23 or 24. I had just moved into a new apartment in Brooklyn with a magical women named Emily. She and I had a lot in common, we both went to college in the Midwest, we both loved Sex and the City, we were also both dealing with super sad breakups AND we had both read Eat Pray Love. I remember the two of us drinking tea and talking earnestly about love and life and finding ourselves. The book allowed us to do what everyone should do in their 20s, think deeply about themselves. What we want, who do we want to become, who do we want to be with. The book gave me permission to be self absorbed and I don’t mean it in a negative way. Gilbert was criticized for her book being “privileged-lit,” it must be nice to be able to take off and travel for a year and just write about yourself! But I didn’t take it that way. I think it is important for ladies to push themselves to experience the world, meet new people and it is okay to be selfish about those experiences, using them to shape who you are.
Big Magic was a different experience, and I am glad I am reading it at 33. I am in a different place reading this book. Louisville instead of Brooklyn. Happily in a committed relationship instead of tearfully single (the fun-single part came in my later 20s). Working in my ideal job, after figuring out what I loved about my first job and whittling away the parts of it I hated. I didn’t need as much introspection but still wanted to be inspired. For me, Big Magic, is about being brave enough to share your passions with the world. I know (for the most part) what kind of person I want to be. I know where I want to work and what I want to do. And I know for sure who I want to be with. Reading this book helped push me to think about what I want to tell the world and allowed me to think it was worth telling!
It also gave me a quote to remember whenever I am worried that people don’t like me:
Girl, nobody is thinking about you!!!!