What Did I Learn From Eat, Pray, Love?

A poster of Eat, Pray, Love

What is Eat, Pray, Love about?

I was in junior high when Eat, Pray, Love came out. It’s not hard to see that I didn’t think I’d resonate with the movie at all. A movie about a woman facing a failing marriage going around the world to find herself.

Eat, Pray, Love is a romantic drama film in 2010 based on a book of the same name. It talks about a woman living the dream life of many, with a successful career, a husband and a house. The epitome of success she is. Yet, instead of feeling the joy the society tells her to feel, she finds a void inside. She sets off travelling the world in three parts in search of her happiness.

A shortcut to a book review that led to the movie

Old library

At the time I was choosing my subjects for high school, and I felt just as lost. Everyone around told me to pick a science major for my own good. “Science is a guarantee for a well-paid job and success,” they said.

Science didn’t spark any joy in me. If there’s one subject I loathed, it’s physics. Hilariously, I scored rather well in my science classes. It didn’t make much sense if you let go of the subjects you scored best, for the subjects you scored worst, or did it?

One day, while rampaging through bookshelves looking for a book to finish our book review class, my friend said, “you know there’s a movie Eat, Pray, Love that just came out and it’s based on a book right? Why don’t you just watch the movie and do the book review?”

Brilliant. Just, brilliant.

Like that, the lazy me watched a movie that’s not even my favourite genre. I didn’t expect to like the movie or that I would even understand it. After all, I didn’t have the mentally of a middle-aged woman struggling through marriage.

What did I learn from Eat, Pray, Love?

Our society as a whole doesn’t encourage individualism. There is a set of rules that you are expected to follow and a spectrum of emotions you are supposed to feel. A lot of people get their problems dismissed because they are already successful in other people’s eyes.

Situations in the movie didn’t mimic my reality. But the values behind were still valid. I was about to make a decision I wasn’t comfortable with because everyone told me to do so. It’s not where I could find my happiness.

This movie inspired me a lot. Not only in the way it dealt with things, but that it’s based on a true story. Everyone needs that bit of a push to follow their heart. This movie gave me that push.

Since then, I have been hooked on travelling the world and exploring my inner self. Although I didn’t travel solo until three years later, the movie saved me from choosing a major that would’ve made me miserable. There were still several times I made some academic decisions that I really shouldn’t have. But that’s life. You live and you learn.

If you ask me how exactly did the movie go, I don’t really know. All I can remember is the values it taught me. How to be a strong, independent woman that is willing to step out of her comfort zone to explore.

The world is huge. Home is not necessarily the place that speaks to you. Go out and discover and maybe you will find your true calling on a remote island somewhere in this world.

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