After the call, I meandered over to the computer to get even ten minutes of blogging done. Still resonating on Kim Letson’s many inspiring stories, I related Kim’s journey of self-discovery to Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat, Pray and Love. Curious as to how Gilbert’s story and follow-up movie inspired change in others, I googled and found the following rather critical blog post about Gilbert’s journey.
Basically, Anne Donahue’s article dismisses Gilbert’s transformational journey as one of white privilege that is not available to the masses. Furthermore, she emphasizes Gilbert’s memoir ignores the angst and messiness of working through the day-to-day challenges of self-actualization, leaving us with a superficial Hollywood romanticized fun version of reformation. Donahue has a point, however, I also think that she seems very bitter and envious of Gilbert’s ability to pick up and go. I would counter-argue, Gilbert still had the courage to make such a huge step away from her conventional routine (albeit it, Gilbert’s conventional life seems rather exotic to many of us regular slugs). Comparing these comments to Kim Letson’s journey, I would recommend Donahue read both of Letson’s memories as I think that she might see real courage in someone stepping away from regular life as a soldier, widow, and entrepreneur.