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Transcript

In this episode of MarieTV, we do have some adult language. So if you do have little ones around, grab your headphones now.

Marie: Hey, it’s Marie Forleo, and you are watching MarieTV, the place to be to create a business and life you love. My guest today, she’s a legend, and she continues to inspire me, and millions of other to live joyfully and boldly, and with our hearts wide open. Elizabeth Gilbert is the number one New York Times Best-selling author of Big Magic, and Eat Pray Love, as well as several other internationally bestselling books. 

She’s been a finalist for the National Book Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award and the PEN Hemingway Award. Her new novel, City of Girls is a rollicking, sexy tale of the New York City theater world during the 1940s. Liz freaking Gilbert, ooh.

Liz: Ooh. All we do is make sounds. We don’t make words…

Marie: Exactly. I’m so freaking happy that you’re back. I mean, the last time we did this in this format, you were launching Big Magic.

Liz: Yeah.

Marie: And a lot has transpired in the world in your life.

Liz: Yes. It’s a whole different world in every way. It was a whole different world.

Marie: In every way, okay.

Liz: Our lives were different, the world was different.

Marie: Very much so.

Liz: But anyway, I love you. I’ve missed you.

Marie: I love all of our adventures.

Liz: I’m wearing your earrings.

Marie: Yeah, so can we talk about that for a minute?

Liz: Yeah. I think we should just begin with that.

Marie: Tell us.

Liz: I’m wearing Jersey Marie’s earrings because I needed a little extra badass power today. So, I was like, “Can I borrow some of…” And reached into your box and got the biggest possible ones that I can actually see in my peripheral vision. And you know that the earrings are not the right size unless you can see them from your peripheral vision.

Marie: Yeah, no. Those are Jersey Marie’s earrings and they have special power. It is so funny. I’m showing Liz some jewelries to pick from, I’m like, “Oh, do you want to see these smaller?” She’s like, “Those.” I was like, “You went straight for Jersey Marie.”

Liz: I like those ear bangles.

Marie: Yeah.

Liz: Give me those.

Marie: It’s the best ever. And I have to congratulate you. So, Liz and I were hanging out talking in my dressing room, and I have to say, so City of Girls, you guys, this book. You need to get your hands on it. Get your hands on this book for you and your friends. It’s phenomenal. Thank you. By the way, Josh is thanking you because he’s always on my butt because he’s like, “Can you just stop reading self-help and personal development books? Can’t you just read a novel?” And so when I was reading this, he’s like, “Are you reading a novel?” I’m like, “It’s Liz Gilbert’s new novel and it’s fantastic.”

Liz: Oh, thank you so much.

Marie: What was the inspiration? Talk to us.

Liz: Okay. This is a novel that is set in the New York City theater world of the 1940s. It’s about showgirls, playboys, actresses, dancers and more than anything else, it’s about promiscuous young women who are behaving with incredible sexual recklessness and reaping consequences. Wreaking havoc, creating all sorts of problems. And it’s a story I’ve wanted to tell for a really long time because I’ve always wanted to write a book about promiscuous girls whose lives are not destroyed by their sexual desire. And that is a very hard book to find in the classics of western literature. Because usually, you get really punished. You step out of line, you get really… you’re under the wheels of the train. You get poisoned, you’re dead in a gutter, you’re kicked out of good society, you’re ruined, ruined.

It’s always stories of girls and women being ruined because they dared to want to experience sexuality. And that has not been my experience and it’s not been the experience of a lot of women that I know. And I also didn’t want to write a fake romantic sexual story where there are no consequences. So, I had to kind of figure out how to walk this line. How do I create this story where I have a character who’s behaving with abandon? Stuff happens to her, but she’s able to survive her own choices, which I think all women do and can. The whole idea of a ruined woman is a kind of fantasy because, god, if that were true, we’d all be ruined. Who among us would still be here if we couldn’t survive our own choices and our consequences and sometimes even terrible punishment? We can survive it. So, that is what the book is about.

Marie: But where did the idea come from? How long ago did you start feeling in your heart or in your mind or somewhere, just that this needed to be born?

Liz: I was at my great-aunt’s house, god, I want to say seven or eight years ago. And she handed me some out of print books that she was getting rid of. She’s at that age where she’s like, “I’m 90, I’m dying. Take everything.” And so every time you leave her house, you’ve got piles of stuff. And amongst these books were a collection of essays written in the 1930s and ’40s by a guy named Alexander Woollcott, who was a theater critic at the time. And there were interviews and profiles of famous actresses who I had never heard of because they were theater actresses.

They were British and American divas, these stage divas, opera singers. And the world that he was talking about just seemed so impossibly glamorous to me. He was going to the Ritz Carlton to have lunch with a visiting British actress who is starring in Lady Macbeth and he’s writing this whole profile of her and what she’s wearing and what they’re drinking. And I was like, “I want to play in that world. I want to go back to New York City Midtown, sparkling champagne cocktail, showgirl theater world and put my promiscuous girls right at the center of it and see what they get up to.”

Marie: And so was this a time period… I’m so curious about the research in this because not only do I instantly just get pulled into the story, it’s so much fun, you are such a… I’m not blowing smoke up your ass, you are fricking Liz Gilbert. Your writing is impeccable and I just felt instantly pulled into this time machine, and it was so glorious. And so I was thinking to myself, “Goodness, does Liz know all this stuff about this time period? Or was this, ‘Oh, wow, I have this idea, I want to envelop this world, but I also need to do a shit ton of research?'”

Liz: Shit ton of research.

Marie: Okay.

Liz: Yeah. Like four years of research.

Marie: Wow.

Liz: And which-

Marie: What does that look like?

Liz: Well, it’s like everything finding a historian to walk me around Times Square and show me some existing theaters, but more importantly, to kind of have… paint a word picture so he could show me what it used to look like. So, we could stand there and we’re right in front of a Nike store, but he’s telling me about the theater that used to be in that place. And it was also reading a ton of novels that were written in the 1930s and ’40s to get the tone of the way that people spoke. Interviews with former showgirls and actresses and dancers in their nineties about their professional lives and their sex lives, which they were more than happy to talk to me about, which was great. And just an immersion, an absolute immersion. It’s almost like learning a second language, learning another time and another place is like learning a new language. So that by the time you write it, you can write it convincingly.

Marie: Really? Okay. So, it sounds like, and tell me if I’m tracking right because I just, I get fascinated by process because I just think pieces of art like this are so brilliant and fascinating. And we get to enjoy the end product, but I also get really excited about understanding how things get weaved together and how they’re birthed. So, it sounds like there was idea, you got excited about this time period, and then you dove into the pool of research hardcore.

Liz: Yeah.

Marie: Did you then start writing the story or did the characters start coming to you afterwards? Or was it a blend, where you kind of danced in between?

Liz: For me, it starts with the location. The first thing is New York City, 1940s, I have to learn the theater world, I have to learn everything about it. As I start researching, the characters come to me. So, I’ll get inspired by something that I read. I’ll be like, “Oh, it’d be so cool to have a character whose sort of like that.” Somebody who’s referenced in a letter that I would read who is a playwright visiting from LA and complaining that New York City is terrible in white shoes. That kind of guy. Like a dandy, bon vivant. I’m like, “Oh, we could put something like that.” So, it starts to people itself. And then for me, weirdly, the last piece of it that I have is the actual story.

First, I have the setting, then I have the people and then I have to figure out, what are those people doing in that setting and what is the story I want to tell here? And in this case, what I’ve written is kind of a mystery because it starts, the whole book is an answer to a mysterious question where this woman whose now in her nineties gets a letter from we don’t know who, from a woman saying, “Now that my mother is dead, I’m wondering if you’d be comfortable telling me what you were to my father.” And the whole book is her answer of what she was to this mysterious man and we don’t quite know who he is and it takes a long time to get there. But I kind of wanted to tell a mystery story as well.

Marie: And did you, so again, this is… By the way, y’all, I have to tell you, okay, so this is coming out… Sometimes I forget when I’m recording interviews, I have to think about when we’re actually publishing them. This is coming out very soon. So, you all don’t know, but Liz was kind enough to read some of the first pages of my upcoming book-

Liz: Which is so good. I read more than a few pages.

Marie: I know you did. I know, but-

Liz: I read a lot of it and I would read more because it’s great.

Marie: I love you, thank you. My point in bringing this up is that she gave me some advice and it was just like, “Marie, for the love of all things holy, please trust Auntie Liz on this one.” And I was like, “Girl, I am trusting you,” and reshaped the beginning of my book. The reason I’m bringing this up is I’m curious if you knew the mystery piece, if you started there, or if that, it was like, “Whoa, now I know how to start the book in terms of this mystery.”

Liz: I had that pretty soon. The thing that’s interesting, and I don’t want to give away too much of the book-

Marie: Of course.

Liz: But I will say that the entire book is an answer to the question, “Vivian, what were you to my father?” That somebody’s written a letter. And I myself did not know that answer until we got to where the two of them meet. And I was like, “Well, I need to find out what they are to each other. I actually don’t know.” And I was willing for it to be anything, but I decided to let magic take over at that point and to let the two characters themselves show me what they were to each other. And I was surprised myself by the answer to that question.

Marie: And it’s so sexy.

Liz: Well, thank you.

Marie: Like, woo. I’m in bed reading this and I was like, “When does Josh get home?” Because again, I am such based on what I do and everything, it’s like, I’m reading books about the brain, and I’m… You know what I mean? Spirituality, and all that kind of stuff. And to get lost in a story and then to have it be so hot. And to have it-

Liz: Yay. That’s what I wanted it to be.

Marie: Yes. And to give all of the feels and then to be laughing. It’s phenomenal.

Liz: Thank you. And I wanted this book, what I said to my editor, when I turned it in, was, “I want this book to go down like a tray of champagne cocktails. I want to make it so that you start that first page and you cannot put it down until the end and you feel like you’ve been at a party. I want it to have that kind of spirit.” And so I’m just so delighted that people are reporting that that’s their experience with it.

Marie: It is.

Liz: I was like, “Good, that’s what I wanted it to be.”

Marie: Yeah. And what’s so great, it’s when you don’t want a book to end, for me, it’s like, no, no, no, I want to take it slower. No, no, no, I have to savor every page.

Liz: I know, I have that feeling too.

Marie: It’s the best in the world. So, one of the other things I really appreciated is that you just say, you’re like, “Look, these characters aren’t woke. They’re all awakening as we all are.

Liz: Yes.

Marie: I thought that… I was like, “Thank you for saying that,” which it feel like it just gave me all of this space, more space to just dive into this without having the burden of having to evaluate, what does this mean in some? Just thank you.

Liz: Oh, you’re welcome. And I love the Me Too movement and I think it’s long overdue and essential and important. And this is not a but, this is an and.

Marie: And.

Liz: And as important as the conversation is about female consent, consent is not the last or only word when it comes to female sexuality. There is also such a thing as female desire, which is a very different thing from consent. Because consent seems to imply that a woman is kind of passively waiting, being attractive and then a man will come and say, “Can I have this, this, and that?” And she’ll be like, “Yes, yes,” or “No.” Right? And my experience with sexual, my own sexual desires, it doesn’t look like that. 

And there are seasons of a woman’s life where she’s a predator, where she’s like, “I want that.” And when you see a woman standing in her full sexual power and looking across the room and laying claim and saying, “That’s what I’m after. I want that and that and that and that.” That’s what I wanted to write about in this book. And I don’t want the story of female desire to be lost in the debate over consent because without our desire, we’re not fully ourselves. So, this is a book that celebrates female desire in all its muscular messiness. Yeah. It’s imperfect and it’s beautiful and supporting.

Marie: And you did so brilliantly.

Liz: Thank you, honey.

Marie: There’s the… Again, I don’t want to give away too much, but one of the characters loses her virginity. And just that whole-

Liz: Oh, god, I had so much fun writing that scene. I’ve never had more fun writing a scene than I had writing the losing the virginity scene.

Marie: It was incredible. All of the mixture of feelings and awkwardness and observation and do… It was so utterly, I’m like, I’m just giving you hands up like this all throughout every page.

Liz: Oh, thanks. Thank you.

Marie: But I wanted to bring that up because I feel like we haven’t had this conversation yet, which is why this book is so important.

Liz: Yeah.

Marie: So, so important.

Liz: Good.

Marie: And to have it in such a fun throwback, these little gin fizz kind of ways. One of the things that came with the early reader copies, the galleys of the book was this beautiful feather. And as I was reading Liz’s book, I had my feather out and I’m like, “I am loving this.” It’s also a time period that I particularly love. I love the music from the ’40s. I love going back to that time in even my mind’s eye. And it’s just, yeah, so I just, I need to gush on you.

Liz: Aww. Thanks, honey.

Marie: You’re welcome. So, I want to shift gears a little bit. There was a quote that you emailed to me when you were actually having a housewarming party and you quoted Joseph Campbell: “How we decide to live our lives at the most trying moments. Is it going to be a wasteland or is it going to be the Grail Quest?” I want to talk about the incomparable Rayya and the adventure that you’ve been on these past few years.

Liz: Yeah. You got to meet her, which makes me so happy because you came to that party. And I know you said later you were expecting to see this withered cancer patient and you met this vibrant, vivid-

Marie: Badass, gorgeous, hot woman. Yes.

Liz: Yeah, yeah. She was amazing. So, Rayya was my best friend, but that word doesn’t… We had a 17 year relationship that started with her being my hairdresser and moved to her being the love of my life and me taking her through her death of pancreatic and liver cancer. And along that way, she became… we were client and customer, and then we were patron and artist because she had these incredible stories about the years that she had lived on the Lower East Side as a heroin addict in the 1980s. And I was always like, “Write your book. Write your book.” 

And I actually created a space where she could do that. And then we became friends and then we became best friends and then there was this long period of time, and I was married, very happily married to a man, but there was this long period of time where there simply was not a word for… I couldn’t find the right word for what she was in my life. And I finally just settled on she was my person. And what I meant by that was the most important person in my life. The first phone call in every emergency. The first phone call in every celebration. The world comes to me for advice, I go to Rayya for advice. Rayya was my beacon, and she was also, at some level, the only person in the world I’ve ever felt completely safe and seen around.

And then she got diagnosed with terminal pancreatic and liver cancer. And very quickly, on the heels of that diagnosis, it became… I mean, it was so obvious. It was right in front of me, but I had never seen it. And very quickly, it became obvious that what she actually was, was my love. And that I had to completely change my entire life in order to honor that because I could not bear the idea of, I knew I would be the one holding her hand when she died. I knew I would be that one from the day that phone call came. But the idea of her leaving this earth not knowing how much I loved her and how I loved her was unacceptable. And so everything had to be changed and we had 18 months together, and it was… What was the words that Joseph Campbell said, “Is it going to be a wasteland or is it going be the Grail Quest?”

Marie: Exactly.

Liz: Yeah. It was both. 

Marie: Yeah.

Liz: It was both. And I think the Grail Quest often takes place in a wasteland. I mean, that’s where you find the treasure of yourself and of your power is in those darkest, most harrowing, horrible moments. So, it was the worst thing I’ve ever had the honor and privilege to do and the best.

Marie: And I loved, I was sharing earlier, for anyone who hasn’t heard this yet, I would highly suggest that you search Elizabeth Gilbert, The Moth, the story that you told, the stories that you told. So utterly moving and brilliant and funny and devastating and everything all at once. And it was just… Because I was at my kitchen table at like 5:30 this morning with my coffee and I’m standing up cheering and crying all at once.

Liz: Rayya took up a lot of space in the universe and still does. The thing about somebody who’s very vivid in life is that they remain very vivid in death. And not just myself, but everyone who knew her and even perfect strangers have reported these kind of Rayya encounters or where they hear her voice and they’re so sure, or they’re given a message, or they’re, that she’s so present and she never would’ve wanted to miss anything. And that’s why I think she’s remained so present. But I think that people with that much charisma and that who take up that much room and that much space, it echoes and it continues. And I don’t know whether that’s her spirit from the beyond still in all its power or whether it’s the residual echo of how much she filled the world that we’re still hearing it and feeling it a year and a half after her death.

Marie: I want to read, you just have so many words, so you guys are going to have to deal with this. I’m going to quote Liz a lot and I’m just going to read your own words to you because they’re so beautiful. “As you might expect, I’ve experienced knee-buckling grief this year and loneliness and belly-hollowing loss. But that’s not all. In Rayya’s absence, somehow, shockingly, reassuringly, the world has continued to turn. Not only does the world still turn, but it still enchants me. To my surprise, I have discovered in the past year that beauty and love can still exist in Rayya’s wake. Laughter can still be found everywhere I turn. Friendship spill over to me in abundance.” And then you go on and you talk about that, in her honor, I have danced almost every day this year. I want to talk about that because you and I got together and ran into each other in LA. And it was beautiful because you were dancing every day. Where did that notion come from and what impact did that have on you?

Liz: I picked it up from Rayya’s ex-wife, Gigi, who is also one of my dearest, most beloved friends, who somehow… And was also one of the people taking care of Rayya when she died. And somehow, she communicated this because she’s a dancer and she’s a very physical… And you are as well. You know there’s something that can be released in dance that can’t be released any other way. And what she was communicating to me was that grief is a heavy cement that gets into your bones and pulls you down. And dance is the way of letting energy move through you so that it can move out of you because what you want to stay is soft. 

And so, I just got in the habit, she and I got in the habit of just, we would dance every day. But I just take Rayya’s playlists and hit shuffle and say, “You pick.” And I dance every morning to a song that she picks. And sometimes, I dance to a Leonard Cohen song and I’m weeping. And other times, it’s like Lynyrd Skynyrd and I’m doing whatever I do then. But it always seems to be the perfect one. And I think that dance is the opposite of stagnation, it’s the opposite. There’s a great line that the writer Andrew Solomon said that the opposite of depression is not happiness, the opposite of depression is vitality. And dance is a way of actually bringing vitality back into your life and into movement. 

And grief and depression are not the same thing. I’ve been depressed in my life. Depression is an inability to feel or refusal to feel. It’s a shutting down. And grief, when you allow it to live in its fire in you is a very active, living force that has an element of rejoicing in it. And the rejoicing is to have loved so much that you are so devastated to have lost, that you got to love this much. And it’s got that energy in it. And so I find that I had expected to be catapulted into depression because of grief, but I wasn’t. I was catapulted into grief and it’s something else very different and it’s very sacred.

Marie: We were talking about that over our Italian dinner. And I was so-

Liz: We were.

Marie: I was so moved and inspired by our conversation about there are different approaches to grief. You were just sharing so many beautiful things. And I’m like, “I have never heard anyone talk about their experience moving through this type of emotional reality with so much creativity.”

Liz: I think it’s the greatest creative challenge of my life. I think that grieving Rayya has been the single greatest creative challenge of my life, and I’ve taken it as a creative challenge. Look, your whole life is a creative activity. People who say, “I don’t have a creative bone in my body,” it’s like you’ve… did you not choose the person that you married? That was an act of creativity. You had a creative vision of your future when you met this person. And you came together with them and you two are creating that, that’s creativity. Everything that you decide, everything that you surround yourself with, everything that you make is creativity. 

And grieving requires enormous creativity because, so for me, I just see it as a massive cosmic riddle at the mythical level. What am I supposed to do with this? This is the one person in the world, you heard me say this, the one person in the world I ever felt safe and seen by and that person is not here anymore. That’s interesting. What am I now going to do? How am I going to create safety and the feeling of being seen when in a Rayya-less world? Interesting challenge. How am I going to do it? And I’m living into that question every single day since her death because I believe in a benevolent universe. 

And so in my universe, it can’t be the story is we took away from you this thing and you’ll never find it in anything or anywhere else on earth. This is the only place it could ever be. That is so unbearably cruel and impossible for me in my world. Because in my world, it’s only abundance and giving. And so, I was given Rayya and now I’m given the challenge of who I’m going to be in the post-Rayya world. And that requires awakeness, an alertness and a sense of adventure, too. And the thing I keep throwing out there because I think it’s the singular most daring possible radical thing that I could say. And I say it almost as a challenge and a prayer to any of you who are in grief, the puzzle that I’m also sitting with is this.

There was a life that I could only have with Rayya and that life is no longer available. And there is a life that I can only have without Rayya and that life is just beginning. And it’s a life I could only have without her. There are things that I could only do without her, that if she had been alive and in the world, I wouldn’t do. There are relationships that I can only have now that she’s not here. There’s a whole changed world without her. And I’m equally fascinated by what that one is. And I think the real sense of creative adventure is for me to say yes ahead of time to the new one. And say, “I don’t know what it is yet, but I’m in. I’m in. Show me and I’m game.” And I’m willing to believe that it’s my destiny to have just as beautiful a life after her as ahead with her.

Marie: I’m going to go to a Facebook post that you wrote a few years ago. I think sometimes we forget that we are merely temporary visitors to earth, temporary occupants of these bodies. We take our lives perhaps too seriously sometimes when we forget our ultimate destination whether it’s 90 years or nine years, after all, eventually we will all be leaving this party. When we forget our essential transience, when we think that we’re going to be here forever, all of our choices become so weighty, so significant, so intimidating. But we won’t be here forever. So maybe it doesn’t really matter as much as we think it matters. Maybe you can be a bit lighter about your choices. That being the case, what do you want to do before you go? What would be interesting to you? What would bring you enjoyment, or elevation, or transcendence? And what’s to be lost, really, in giving new things a try? We’re just passing through life. Might as well check it out a bit while we’re here, right?

Liz: I needed to hear that today.

Marie: It was so funny, because I…

Liz: Thank you.

Marie: I was just was going back and forth in my mind. I’m like, “Mm.” I was like, “Yes.” And it’s so powerful. Liz, these are your words. “Why don’t we check it out a bit while we’re here?”

Liz: Look, I have literally no idea what the fuck is going on here. I have no idea. We were on this tiny ball spinning through Earth at 67,000 miles an hour around a star in a middle of a universe where we appear to be the only ones here so far. I mean, we’ve been looking. They’ve been looking and they’re like, “Don’t see anybody else.” And we are not only the only ones, we’re on this planet that’s full of life and there aren’t other ones so far that we’ve found. And we’re the only lifeforms that have consciousness and self-awareness. 

And live in past, present, have such things as history and futures and myth and story and divinity and all of these rich, complex things. And grief and sorrow and devastation and hatred. And we’re just so volatile. We are such a weird species. And then we get dropped into these families. We come out of the bubblegum shoot, and it’s like, “Oh, hey. Here’s your…” This is my family? You’re like, “For real? This is my culture? This is my language? What? Like, why?” I have no idea. I have no idea. And then you die? What? And you know you’re going to the whole time. We’re also the only species on earth who has that…

Marie: Awareness.

Liz: Awareness. Like, “Hey, guess what? You’re going to die.” There’s one, only one guarantee and it always takes us by surprise. Even though it’s still literally the only thing that was ever promised. It’s the only thing that’s ever promised. And each time we’re like, “What? That happened again?” There was a great headline in The Onion satirical paper one time that said, “Earth’s death rate holding steady at 100%.” And it’s like, we still are like, “What?” Each time, it’s like, “This is a tragedy. How did this happen?” It’s like, “How did it happen? It’s the only thing I can promise you is going to happen.” It’s so bizarre and I don’t know. I don’t know what any of it means or what any of it’s for, but my god, it’s interesting. It’s such a weird, interesting ride to be a person. And I don’t want to miss it. I don’t want to miss this weird, weird rollercoaster ride.

Marie: That’s what I love about you and I’m so just blessed to have you as a friend because I feel like I can catch up with you on Instagram. I’m like, “There’s Liz living it. Living it fully.” And it’s such a great reminder to all of us. I mean, we can just get caught up, right? Scrolling at your damn phone or doing the busy work or trying to reach for the next achievement or the next relationship, or whatever, without really taking a moment to go like, “Wait, hold on a second. What might I be missing? What fun could there be? And what if I stop taking the whole damn thing so seriously?” I mean, you just creating this miracle of a book and all of your work, I think that’s what’s just… it’s just what is so absolutely life affirming about who you are as a being and your-

Liz: Aw, thank you.

Marie: Your courage and your transparency and how much you let us all in.

Liz: Aw, thank you.

Marie: To see all of it.

Liz: Aw, I like having everyone in.

Marie: Yeah, yeah.

Liz: I mean, my turnaround time for when I learn something to when I feel I have to share it is sometimes minutes because it feels like a burden. For me to know something or to have been helped by something or to have been given something really useful and then just hold it and not instantly try to pass it to whoever I’m with or on social media, feels like a burden on my heart.

Marie: That’s the whole reason I do what I do.

Liz: Yeah.

Marie: Because every time I make a discovery or I read something great, I’m like, “How does the world not know about this? I have a big mouth. I like talking. I need to start telling to more people. That’s the whole reason this whole thing exists.”

Liz: I love it. And look how much it brings you.

Marie: Yes.

Liz: The more you give them that, the bigger you grow in your heart and in your own soul.

Marie: Yes, yes. I’m wondering if you would be willing to close this out here with reading this little last passage in City of Girls.

Liz: Yeah.

Marie: Is that cool with you?

Liz: Yeah.

Marie: Sorry about the crappy line I drew, I was going really fast. But it’s your words, so you can probably read it.

Liz: Okay. “This is what I found about life as I’ve gotten older. You start to lose people, Angela. It’s not that there’s ever a shortage of people, oh heavens, no, it is merely that as the years pass, there comes to be a terrible shortage of your people, the ones you loved, the ones who knew the people that you both loved. The ones who knew your whole history. Those people start to be plucked away by death and they are awfully hard to replace after they go. After a certain age, it can become difficult to make new friends. The world can begin to feel lonely and sparse, teeming though it may be with freshly minted young souls. I’m not sure whether you’ve had that feeling yet, but I’ve had it. And you may have that feeling someday. 

All of this is why I want to end by saying that although you owe me nothing and I expect nothing from you, you are precious to my heart nonetheless.” Aww. “And should you ever find that your world feels lonely and spare and that you need a new friend, please remember that I am here. I don’t know how much longer I will be here of course, but as long as I remain on this earth, my dear Angela, I am yours.” Yeah. That’s it. I mean, really, I say that it’s a book about sex, but it’s really a book about female friendship and about saying that to somebody, “Hey, if it’s getting hard for you, find me. Come and find me, I’m here.”

Marie: Yes. Absolutely. And I feel like you have given us all so much of that through your beautiful work and obviously-

Liz: Oh, Marie.

Marie: I say that to you anytime, baby. I’m always here for you.

Liz: I know, and you have been.

Marie: Thank you.

Liz: And I love you very, very, very much.

Marie: I love you too.

Liz: Thank you, sweetheart.

Marie: Now, Liz and I would love to hear from you. So, we talked about so many beautiful things today. I’m curious, what is the insight that you’re taking away from this conversation and what does it mean in your heart? Tell us about it in the comments below. Now, as always, the best conversations happen over at marieforleo.com, so head on over there and leave a comment now. 

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