I just found another photo from my EAT PRAY LOVE travels ten years ago…this picture was taken at the Ashram in India, with some friends from the floor-scrubbing crew. Standing just behind me, over my left shoulder, is Richard From Texas, whom I miss and love every day. (Some of you may not know, but Richard passed away in 2010, exiting peacefully in his sleep from a heart attack.)

Rest in Peace, Richard, and thank you for your singular wisdom and grace. And thank you for your humor. God, how I miss that humor.

I think Richard would've like to hear me say this (and better still, he would have liked to hear me KNOW this) so I'll say it…

I was pondering yesterday why I am enjoying getting older so very much. I think it's because of this fact: That unless you are making a sincere effort to wake up early every single morning and work hard at staying stupid, then you are probably — just by sheer default — getting smarter as you age. (Because seriously — you've gotta REALLY not be paying attention to life, to not be getting even a little bit more wise as you go along.) All that I have ever wanted and longed for was to be wiser, smarter, more clear, more peaceful, more expansive, more prepared for life. The years are bringing that intelligence, my dears…the years are bringing it at last. (And not a moment too soon, may I add.) I look forward to all that I have yet to learn. I plan to keep paying attention, and to let it all in. Stronger by the year, better by the day. It's awesome.


via Elizabeth Gilbert’s Facebook Wall