Sunday, October 18, 2015

Writing Our Stories.

Posted by Sunaina Patnaik at Sunday, October 18, 2015

In my last post, I've said that I've read two amazing books last week and that I would write about them.

I’ve read Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert and If You Feel Too Much by Jamie Tworkowski. The overly sensitive person that I am, I ended up shedding a tear or two while reading both the books. The books were so truthful that I could not help talking about them all the week. Every person I met and everywhere I went, I talked about these books.

I love Elizabeth Gilbert. Call it serendipity or my idea to feel better, I have always read her when I was hitting rock bottom. I remember reading Eat, Pray, Love when I was in college, but it was just a good book. A book that I liked and that was all about it. But the first time I ever had a major breakdown, I picked Eat, Pray, Love again. This time it wasn't just a good book, it was a voice that was talking to me, reminding me that there is hope. I read it once. Twice. I felt better. I watched her TED talks and I read more though I still haven't finished reading The Signature of All Things. When I got to know about Big Magic, I knew I had to read it. Funnily, I read it when I was going through another breakdown, and this time, it was liberating. I read it on my way to work, and I read it before I fell asleep. I read it during breaks, and I read it at every opportunity I could find. I understood it. Loved it. Talked about it. And secretly, I found my lost courage from it.

You know there are instances when you find mentors just around you. And sometimes you don't. Sometimes they are in your city. Sometimes you meet them every day. In my case, it is different. In spite of the miles of distance between Hyderabad and New Jersey, Elizabeth is my mentor, though she is absolutely unaware of existence.

Thank you for writing this book, Elizabeth! I needed it. Just the way I needed Eat, Pray, Love. I've learned so much from it and I know there is so much more to learn. I will live my life with stubborn gladness and it is a promise I've made to myself this year.

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Jamie Tworkowski's If You Feel Too Much has made me realize that there are people like me. That there are people who waltz their way through pain and emerge stronger. That there are people who never give up despite what happens to them. That people struggle and fight.

I have been following 'To Write Love on Her Arms' for a quite bit of time now and I honestly believe that what Jamie has been doing for people is wonderful. When someone told me that Jamie wrote a book and that I must read it, I was a little apprehensive. I thought I did not need a book that would make me sad. Funnily again, this book was anything but sad. It has beautiful stories and every story teaches you something.

Jamie has always been a strong advocate of urging people to not to give up on their story. And this is amazing because we are all carrying so many stories inside us but we either give up or never talk about them. It is time we do. It is time we write our own stories. Live our own stories.

P.S. Elizabeth Gilbert, you rock my world.

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