Having had some downtime on a train yesterday and having carved out a piece of this holiday for reading today, I have finished Elizabeth Gilbert’s new book Committed. I already wrote in this space about being enticed by her observations that were excerpted in O, The Oprah Magazine.
I so enjoyed the book. As I noted in a recent Game Plan column, her writing is a balm to me. It’s engaging and real.
But what sticks out for me right now is the validating feeling — and I’m kind of surprised I still need validation on this — of reading her thoughts on being childless by choice. It is so rare that anyone understands this and so I am incredibly moved by passages I relate to such as:
” … while the vague idea of motherhood had always seemed natural to me, the reality … only filled me with dread and sorrow. As I got older, I discovered that nothing within me cried out for a baby. My womb did not seem to have come equipped with that famously ticking clock. Unlike so many of my friends, I did not ache with longing whenever I saw an infant. (Though I did ache with longing, it is true, whenever I saw a good used-book shop.)”
” … as I aged, I discovered that I loved my work as a writer more and more, and I didn’t want to give up even an hour of that communion.”
And finally this, which I long to experience:
“That relief — the great thrumming relief that we both felt when we discovered that neither one of us was going to coerce the other into parenthood — still sends a pleasant vibrating hum across our life together.”
Thanks again, Liz, for laying down your truth. It is no wonder you looked up at me at your recent book signing in New York and said, “I know you, right?” The answer, I now see, is ‘yes, you do.’