I realize this blog may not be read by too many people, and it will be infinitely less interesting than the blog describing my travels, however I think it's pretty necessary, considering I may self-destruct if I don't have a place to write.  And, yes, I will eventually post all of the lost blogs I wrote on the other half of my China tour but couldn't post because I had difficulty finding a stable Internet connection.  But, for now I'll just write a bit.  

On one of our last days in Hong Kong, my dear friend Chris came to me with a homework assignment for the month break we have between the Chinese and Russian legs of our tour with Disney Live.  She handed me a worn copy of a book I recognized from several nights when we were rooming together in which I turned over in my bed, having turned out my light hours earlier, to see her head buried in it's cover, intent on finishing one last chapter.  

"You have to read this book," she said, eyes full of the same intensity Julian Michaels would channel while blocking an overweight component on "The Biggest Loser" from the frozen foods section of the grocery store.     

While jet setting across Asia herself, Chris read several books relaying the travels of other independent women.  This book, Eat, Pray, Love, is author Elizabeth Gilbert's account of her personal search for pleasure, devotion and fulfillment as she travels across Italy India and Indonesia.  I'm only one third through the book (I've just finished the Italy section), but I can already tell why Chris was so intent on my reading it.  Besides being well written and incredibly funny, there are quite a few similarities between Gilbert's life and my own. 

I especially relate to the bit I read just now in which Gilbert describes her fear of knowing that she doesn't fit the mold of the typical course of life.

She writes, "first you are a child, then you are a teenager, then you are a young married person, then you are a parent, then you are retired, then you are a grandparent-at every stage you know who you are, you know what your duty is and you know where to sit at the [family] reunion."

And then later, "but what if, either by choice or by reluctant necessity, you end up not participating in this comforting cycle of family and continuity?  What if you step out?  Where do you sit at the reunion?"

These are all questions I've asked myself at one point or another, and I'm pleased as punch that someone else asks them too.  Honestly, it's a bit entertaining that the things I lack (a steady career, a steady relationship, a stead address, basically steadiness of any kind) are the things I find myself discussing and thinking about continuously.  Not really because I want them, but because everything and everyone around me makes me feel as if I should want them.  This just makes me feel like an alien.  But reading Elizabeth Gilbert's book makes me feel as if I have some company on the planet of abnormality.