It’s funny how a book can alter your state of mind. Given my last post, it’s pretty obvious that I left my house today in a bit of an irritated frenzy. I left with with a book in hand, music in my ear, and 5 euros in my pocket. I ended up at Aran Haus, my choice coffee shop here in Rosenheim. This became my set-up for the next 2 1/2 hours.
From the moment I began reading this book a few days ago, I knew it would have an effect on me. The first paragraph of the prologue sent chills down my spine and through each limb. De Rossi’s memoir recounts her battle with anorexia and bulimia, and her struggle to accept herself in every way. Her tale is a powerful and raw one. If I had had the time, I could easily have read this book cover to cover in one sitting. It’s that compelling. When I sat down in Aran Haus, I had half of the book left and was feeling rather restless. Before I knew it, I had been at Aran for 2 1/2 hours, devouring each word. I figured it was time for a change of scenery. I needed a good place to sit and think. So I went to the park.
In the park, I probably sat for another hour, thinking and writing in my journal. I gained perspective on things that are totally unrelated to eating disorders and body image. I think that everyone must have some sort of struggle, and hers just made mine seem so much clearer in that moment. At this point, I still had about 60 pages left, so I decided that I would finish it. In completing Unbearable Lightness, I acquired a brand new sense of life. There are so many pressures in this world, so many rules to abide by and expectations that we feel we must meet. But the most important thing to experience is happiness. We cannot change who we are to seem more acceptable to others. We are acceptable just the way we are. The trick is accepting yourself first. Happiness comes with taking time to enjoy the good things in life, like nature, the arts, helping others, and being true to who you are. There is no need to dwell on the bad, and you must not feel guilty for doing what is right for you.
Needless to say, I walked away from that park with a sense of peace. I needed a fresh perspective, and that is what this book gave me. I truly believe that everyone should read it. It has provided me with hope that the future will only improve, that people can change, and that the best thing a person can do is be honest and true to him/herself.