For my birthday my amazing landlord, D, gave me a wonderful gift in the form of Elizabeth Gilbert‘s latest book: Committed.

Committed was written as the sequel to her fabulous memoir Eat, Pray, Love, and if you haven’t read Eat, Pray, Love then stop reading this post and read it. Well, you don’t haveeee to stop reading my post, but definitely read Eat, Pray, Love before Committed. It makes much more sense that way.  🙂

Read this first... (photo from Google Image search)

... read this second! (photo from Google Image search)

Alright… on to my thoughts! First of all, Committed is a non-fiction piece all about the wild and wonderful concept of marriage. At the beginning of the book she explains how she’s, “sentenced to marry,” and sets on this journey researching anything and everything about marriage in hopes of reconciliating her relationship with the blessed institution.  The book is well organized into 8 sections: Marriage and Surprises, Marriage and Expectation, Marriage and History, etc. etc. I thought the organization was very helpful as it made the information more manageable and easier to digest.

It is kind of incredible what this book did for my thoughts and feelings towards the institution of marriage. The last couple of years has really thrown my vision of what marriage is. I have had a difficult time believing that forever exists, and until I read this book I really didn’t understand why people even got married if all it lead to was pain and betrayal.

After this book I find that I am looking at marriage in a new light. I now understand the intense legality of the union, and from a woman’s perspective… we give up a LOT when we pledge those vows to another! I understand why people got married 600 years ago, and I understand how its different from why people get married now. You know, I grew up thinking that you go to school, get a degree, fall in love, get married, have kids, and then you’ve done a good job. Now I think as much as I would love to be married someday, I don’t feel like I’m failing anyone if it never happens. This book also reaffirmed that its ok to let your significant other in, and that you can trust and rely on that person despite the wrongs that have marred your heart in the past.

I honestly have a very hard time explaining what I got out of this book. Not because I didn’t get much from it though… the truth is that I got so much that I don’t know where to begin. I’ve tried explaining it to my friends and it didn’t work. I’ve sat on it, and then written this blog post, and guess what… it didn’t work. All I can really say is that I want all of my non-married girl friends to read this book, because I think that everyone can get something out of it. And in the days of 50% divorce rates, I think we all owe it to ourselves to take a piece of advice from, “Auntie Liz.”

Well done Ms. Gilbert.  Thank you, again, for letting us into your heart and mind on a subject that is so private and tender.