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After seeing the infamous Mona Lisa painting hanging in the Louvre museum, I bought the film “Mona Lisa Smile”. The last time I watched it was prob­ably when it came out in 2003.

Since then, I converted to feminism (without any man-hating or bra-burning), which gave me a new perspective on this film about Katherine Watson (Julia Roberts), an art professor who went to teach at Wellesley, a conservative wom­en’s college, in 1953.

Ms. Watson wanted her students to see the potential they had to be something more than John’s wife or Timmy’s mother.

The ‘50s marked a transi­tional time for women in so­ciety. We’ve come a long way since then as gender roles have been redefined and women have made considerable gains in government, education and occupation, along with sexual liberation.

Women have more choices and more freedom than ever before. But are we happy? I’d say we’re still transitioning; pop culture suggests we’re still asking.

In Julia Roberts’ latest film “Eat Pray Love”, she plays the part of Liz Gilbert, a woman who goes to Italy, India and Indone­sia in “search of everything.”

Not many of us can shirk our responsibilities and leave the country, let alone afford it. But the inescapable feeling of being lost, misdirected and confused might be enough to change your mind.

I didn’t go on a yearlong journey trying to connect body, mind and soul.

I studied abroad in London, where I ate, drank and breathed in all the British culture there was to be had in eight weeks of summer. I worked at my dream job and made friends and mem­ories I will never forget.

But something was missing.

Je ne sais quoi.

I came to realize certain peo­ple and places may help you on your road to self-discovery, but ultimately, we all have to make peace with our choices. Only then can we hope to find hap­piness and fulfillment.

Betty Friedan said it best in The Feminine Mystique, “In the end, a woman, [like] a man, has the power to choose, and to make her own heaven or hell.”

Consider that before you book a trip to Bali; but it’s your choice if you want to go.

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