I’ve always loved the author, Elizabeth Gilbert. I’ve read most of what she’s written yet I have to say that her one book, which turned into a movie starring Julia Roberts, was my favorite, and that was the infamou “Eat, Pray, Love.” It’s a true story of her life at that point in her journey and one that I learned many life lessons from.
Another book she wrote, “Big Magic” is my second favorite because, as a writer, I understand all that she speaks of and writes about.
So when the opportunity came up a few weeks ago to see her speak in person, I jumped at the chance.
As a writer, I’ve always wanted to meet her and share my own books with her, but opportunities to do that are far and few in between. I’ve held onto the thought, actually, “the dream” of meeting her one day, and I’ve held that dream for many, many years.
As a spiritual person I knew that if my meeting her was meant to happen, it would, and it would happen as it should, how it should and when it would. So it was no surprise that in February a post from Count Basie Theater in Red Bank, New Jersey appeared on my Facebook newsfeed: Elizabeth Gilbert would be speaking there. I knew I needed to get tickets and if that wasn’t enough, the event was being held on my birthday! It was at moment that I knew the Universe had set this dream of mine up to become a reality…my patience and continued belief that I would meet her someday was paying off.
I proceeded directly to “purchase tickets” and much to my surprise and excitement found that I could buy tickets which also allowed a “meet and greet” with Liz. My head was spinning and my heart skipping beats as I realized that this dream of mine was coming true…that I would finally get to meet one of my “hero’s” of literature. I purchased the tickets and sat with the biggest grin on my face for the rest of the night…actually for everyday that was one day closer to that night.
As the time was quickly approaching I was beginning to get a bit nervous, after all, meeting a “hero” can either be wonderful or a shot in the arm. What we perceive people to be through their books and social media does not always ring true when you meet them. I hoped upon hope that she would be everything I had imagined…
And she was…and she was more than I had imagined.
My love and I were about fifth in line to meet her. I knew she wasn’t signing any of her books that night, but had hoped she would accept my two books as my birthday gift to her!
Her staff took my coat and pocketbook, as well as my cell phone so that they could take pictures. My heart was racing as I walked toward her. It was such a surreal moment of seeing her and walking towards this woman whose books had changed my life. As I approached her, she smiled, said “hello,” and embraced me in a hug, one filled with all the love and light she is…and with an incredible amount of energy!
She spent about five minutes speaking with me and graciously accepted my books. I told her that it was my birthday, to which she wished me a wonderful one, and that I had just reached my four year breast cancer survivor date. I offered my condolences over the loss of her wife, Rayya, and told her how much she meant to me. She took the time to pose for several pictures with me and I was on my way.
I was in heaven…on Cloud Nine, if you will. And so was every other person that had the chance to meet her that night.
It was time for her to speak so we took our seats in the fourth row. I snapped picture after picture and hung onto every profound word she spoke. Meeting her was a dream come true, yet I had one more opportunity to speak “one on one” from the audience with Liz. She had time for a few questions and I was right up in line in front of a microphone asking her mine. I felt as though it was a private conversation between the two of us, even though there was an entired audience sharing in it!
It was truly the most perfect birthday I’ve ever had, and that energy, that feeling of my dream coming into a reality lasted well past that night…once again an experience with Elizabeth Gilbert changed me a bit, put a few things in a different perspective, and made me want to be as good a writer as she is and be able to touch a life and the world in the laid back, easy going, and honest way that she does.
So if you were to ask me what she was like I would tell you this: She was beautiful, humble, kind, compassionate, honest, down to earth, sweet, warm, loving and an amazing human being to be in the presence of.
Thank you, Elizabeth Gilbert, for being all that I had hoped and more; for putting the real you out there for the world to see, not some facade of what the world wants you to be; and for embracing me, speaking with me, and accepting my two books that I’ve written, and two books which carry a lot of lessons I’ve learned from you.
It was my honor, my privilege, and my dream turned into a reality to meet you.
And that is my experience on meeting Elizabeth Gilbert.
It was one I will never forget.
Wishing you love and light,