Monday, May 27, 2013

Elizabeth Gilbert's Confessions of a Control Freak

The following is an excerpt from Elizabeth Gilbert's book Eat, Pray, Love. This is one of those scary moments where I can completely relate to Gilbert as the narrator. (Too bad I am not on the same physical journey that she is as well...)

"Then I ask Richard, 'So how long will it be before all this grieving passes?'
'You want an exact date?'
'Somethin' you can circle on your calendar?'
'Lemme tell you something, Groceries--you got some serious control issues.'
My rage at this statement consumes me like fire. Control issues? ME? I actually consider slapping Richard for this insult. And then, from right down inside the intensity of my offended outrage comes the truth. The immediate, obvious, laughable truth.
He's totally right.
The fire passes out of me, fast as it came.
'You're totally right,' I say.
'I know I'm right, baby. Listen, you're a powerful woman and you're used to getting what you want out of life, and you didn't get what you wanted in your last few relationships and it's got you all jammed up. Your husband didn't behave the way you wanted him to and David didn't either. Life didn't go your way for once. And nothing pisses off a control freak more than life not goin' her way.'
'Don't call me a control freak, please.'
'You have got control issues, Groceries. Come on. Nobody ever told you this before?'
(Well . . . yeah. But the thing about divorcing someone is that you kind of stop listening to all the mean stuff they say about you after a while.)
So I buck up and admit it. 'Ok, I think you're probably right. Maybe I do have a problem with control. It's just weird that you noticed. Because I don't think it's that obvious on the surface. I mean--I bet most people can't see my control issues when they first look at me.'
Richard from Texas laughs so hard he almost loses his toothpick.
'They can't? Honey--Ray Charles could see your control issues!'
'OK, I think I'm done with this conversation now, thank you.'
'You gotta learn how to let go, Groceries. Otherwise you're gonna make yourself sick. Never gonna have a good night's sleep again. You'll just toss and turn forever, beatin' yourself for being such a fiasco in life. What's wrong with me? How come I screw up all my relationships? Why am I such a failure? Lemme guess--that's probably what you were up at all hours doin' to yourself again last night.'
'All right, Richard, that's enough,' I say. 'I don't want you walking around inside my head anymore.'
'Shut the door, then,' says my big Texas Yogi."

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