» By Melanie Curtis on April 1, 2016
Because it means so much to me, and has over many years…
I wrote Elizabeth Gilbert a heartfelt letter speaking to the influence she and her work have had on me and my life, and my deep gratitude for that. Go to her page, like it, follow her stuff and I can only imagine your life being better for it.
I thought originally I would email it to her directly, privately, but given she has so many followers, a public post was the way to share… now that it’s out there, I’m actually so glad it’s available for anyone to read. If what I wrote can help her, or anyone else who finds it… perfect. I share here with all of you for exactly the same reason.
And so you get the joke at the end.. Big Magic is her most recent book.
Much love to you all, my friends.
I must tell you the embarrassing truth that I’ve been working to write this message to you for over a month. … And I have plenty of time to write. I have every faculty, skill set, and circumstance to write.
So why haven’t I? Here’s the deal… thank you. More embarrassing truth, I feel myself getting a little choked up just typing that given the actual depth of my gratitude. Cleansing exhale, ok I’m cool… but really, that’s the core of why I’m writing. What I want you to know from me to you. Very simply, thank you. Thank you so much for sharing your story so that the powerful insight inside could support so much of mine. The full story of how your work has touched and impacted my life is a very long one, as most life stories are.
Suffice it to say, and at risk of sounding cliché, I had my first enlightened experience finishing Eat Pray Love in a mountain lodge in New Zealand by myself in 2007. Fast forward to 2014, cue the agonizing divorce, world tour, and personal reckoning. Pepper in a highly purposeful, intense, and creative professional path, and here we are.
I resonate with your messages, values, vulnerability, creativity, curiosity, fire so much that most recently I had the inspiration to call my new podcast, “Eat Pray Outliers.” I have since decided against that name because I actually don’t want to piggyback your stuff, but rather own my own stance and self, and concurrently honor you as the epic influencer you have been, telling everyone to read and watch your stuff as part of how I add epic value to my people. Duh. Hahaa.. but seriously. I actually feel a little stupid now admitting I was so seriously considering using that name, but it’s cool, all part of the process.
The key part of that story is that I never would have used the name without your blessing, which is where the idea to write you came about. Once I didn’t need to write you on the name, I realized I still wanted to write, but for a much purer purpose. To acknowledge you for the impact and contribution you have made to me and this world. I am a huge believer in courageously speaking gratitude and acknowledging people for their greatness and goodness whenever I see it. So I called bullsh*t on myself, stepped up in my own mind, and acknowledged that the only thing stopping me from sharing your impact with you was a nonsensical idea of separation between us given your level of professional success.
So here I am, telling you you’re awesome. Thank you as sincerely as words typed on a page can be. Thank you for what you have shared. Thank you for putting your story so courageously and vulnerably out for us all to have and benefit from. Thank you for persevering through all the rejection that came before that. Thank you for being an example of what is possible. Thank you for being an example of what being real really can get us all. Thank you for continuing to do all of this ongoing in the new forms you find.
Your story of ruin as the road to transformation has been with me since I read it, and I don’t even think I knew it was there until I really needed it.
And when I did need it, it was there.
It was there as a foundational belief giving me faith and dissolving my fear.
I deeply believe that in every breakdown there is unseen opportunity. The bigger the breakdown, the bigger the breakthrough available to us if we have the courage to seek it. I have cultivated a faith that everything that happens is in some way for us. Even in my darkest days this faith prevailed, and every time that positive has been proven. Every single time.
I must credit your work as part of solidifying that belief in me, and for that, I could never thank you enough. I hope this message reaches you and in reading it you really get how much of a difference you have made and continue to make sharing yourself, being courageous, and being real. Not only in my life, but I’m certain in the lives of countless others.
I hope one day our paths cross in person so I can look your shining spirit in the eyes with mine, and give you a legit, likely comical hug, so whatever my words aren’t conveying today, you can get that way. And of course read that in the most non-weird/good-weird way possible. I suppose to balance this message I could end by telling you I haven’t read Big Magic yet.
Hahaha, but I will.
The best of life to you, Liz.
Thank you again,