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Eat Pray and Love, Iowa… Because I Think God is Trying to Drown You

Last weekend was my birthday, and I drove home from Wausau to spend time with some of my Michigan loves.  As it so happens, as a birthday present from the universe (or maybe Sony Pictures) the movie Eat Pray Love opened and I went to see it with five great women.  Now, I l-o-v-e this book.  I read it as soon as it came out a few years ago and was completely inspired.  I felt like I wrote half the damn book!  If you don’t know, it’s a memoir of Elizabeth Gilbert about her year of traveling and personal growth (I wonder why I’m so in love with it).  The movie, safe to say, did not disappoint.  I read some reviews calling it “self indulgent”, but I think… duh.  It’s a personal memoir… its nature is self indulgence.  As I watched each scene play before me I felt like I wanted to cry.  The world, the places she visited, the people, her thoughts… it’s all so beautiful.

There’s one scene where Gilbert’s love interest (now husband) is saying goodbye to his son and starts to cry because he will miss him so much.  This of course pulled at my heart and tears, and I was so thankful that my mother was sitting next to me in the theatre and I wasn’t saying goodbye to her yet.  The first time I read this book I underlined everything that I loved, could relate to and all that inspired me.  I passed it on to my mom next, and she underlined all that stood out to her.  When I read her highlights it somehow made me feel even closer to her – connect with her as a woman rather than solely as my mother.

I came up with my blog title Antevasin from Eat Pray Love, which means one who lives at the border.  Also, my web address for this blog (greatfountain.wordpress.com) comes from the book.  The phrase dal centro della mia vita venne una grande fontana in Italian means “from the center of my life there came a great fountain.”  Say this aloud.  It’s the most beautiful phrase I’ve ever heard.  Each word, each sound, rolls through your mouth in such a graceful and playful way.  When I traveled to Italy in 2005 I got a few CD’s to learn Italian, and it’s the easiest language to pick up and is a joy to learn.  I’m trying to learn Korean at the moment, and I’m not having much success.  There are sounds which can only be produced by forming your mouth and tongue in a certain way that I can’t seem to get the hang of yet, and the sentence structures are completely un-relatable to English or any romance language I’ve learned.  But it’s a good challenge and I’ll get the hang of it soon enough.  Once I’m there, practice will have to make perfect-ish.

After seeing this movie I realized how restless I am getting.  My feet are itchy to keep moving and my mind is constantly wandering.  So, it was a good thing that after spending a few days in Michigan with some friends and family there, I headed to Kirksville, MO to visit my girlfriend, Kari Beth, and her husband, Seth.  The two of them moved to Missouri in June because Kari got accepted to medical school at ATSU.  Kirksville is a cute little town that really reminds you of Stars Hollow from the Gilmore Girls, equipped with little restaurants (an awesome gyro place with great crinkle feta fries), coffee shops and crafty stores of all kinds.  Although the drive should have taken about eight hours it ended up taking eleven.  Everything got tricky in Iowa.  Frickin Iowa.  First, the Trip Tick from AAA told me the wrong direction on a highway, so I was all turned around for a good hour.  Being super irritated but finally getting my bearings I try to get on a highway only to find that it’s closed.  Apparently most of Iowa flooded about two weeks ago and I happened to be the only one on Earth who didn’t hear about it.  Whoops.  So I’m on the phone with Kari in nowhere Iowa trying to get on other highways only to find them closed.  At this point I’m super irritated and tired and I snap at Kari who is calmly giving me more directions until she leads me to some open roads.  The day was so hot in the Midwest with all the humidity that I had to keep my air conditioning on almost the whole drive, and the condensation from the air blowing above my feet was building up and dripping down onto my toes (one of the most irritating things in life are drips.  I can handle rain, but that drip drip drip on my skin is so annoying!).  It’s now about ten hours into the drive and I start talking aloud to myself about how AAA sucks and I’m going to call them and rip them a new one because their bad directions made me waste all this time.  And I think, of course Iowa is flooded!  This whole damn state is stupid and obviously God hates it and is trying to drown it.  These were the only logical solutions that my angry brain could come up with.  However, once I was on open roads I rolled down the windows to let in the night’s cooler breeze and started to calm down.  I looked around at the landscape surrounding me with green rolling hills and acres of golden cornfields and huge rundown barns next to little lakes, and I had to laugh.  For one, what did I expect AAA to do?  Somehow reimburse me for the time I had lost on the road?  Yell at someone who really has nothing to do with the misguided directions?  And OK… Iowa really isn’t that bad, and I’m sure God isn’t trying to drown it.  I mean, yes, I was inconvenienced because of the flooded roads, but I was just trying to pass through there ONCE!  Can you imagine all those people who actually live there and now have no roads to get anywhere because of the flooding?  Suddenly, my inconvenience seemed trivial and I had to laugh at my anger.   I made it to Kirksville into the open arms of one of my best friends and collapsed that night on their pullout couch for about ten hours.  A few days later it was back to Wisconsin, flooded roads avoided.

Although I’ve been hopping around from state to state for the past few months, I’m ready for a change.  A big one.  I love the states, and living out of a suitcase for months really doesn’t bother me; however, I’m ready to make a big move and settle in (and by “settle in” I mean stay in one place for at least a year).  I’m excited for my own space and my own apartment.  I’m even excited for the crappy tiny apartment that I’ll get (free of charge – wootwoot!) in Korea.  It will be my own space that I can keep as dirty or as clean as I want.  I’ll have a closet and some drawers to keep my clothes in and maybe a little bookcase for the books I bring and acquire along the way.  These are my dreams, people!  My own tiny space with a few furnishings and indoor plumbing.  I had this conversation with my friend Shannon when we were in Denver, CO at her dad and stepmom’s really nice condo.  We were sitting on the edge of the hot tub one night looking up at the Cherry Creek penthouse and came to the conclusion that if someone offered us a penthouse in Budapest we wouldn’t turn it down (duh), but would maybe ask that instead of a penthouse we get a small, cozy apartment and take the rest of the money and spend it on food, travel, entertainment, etc.  I guess that’s a great thing about being in your 20’s – you really don’t need much except for a safe place to lay your head and your things, and hopefully an indoor toilet and shower.

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Author:

I have circumnavigated the globe, I have lived overseas, and now I'm back in America about to marry my beautiful fiance, Renee. Follow our adventures in travel, getting healthier with Plexus and starting a brand new life.

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