Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Book #5: "Wild" by Cheryl Strayed

"Fear, to a great extent, is born of a story we tell ourselves, and so I chose to tell myself a different story from the one women are told." -pg. 51

"Wild" is one of those books that found me at the exact right time. It was a bit of a divergence from the other books I'd been reading--geographically, anyway. Cheryl is not backpacking through Europe or India, she's backpacking across the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT)--a trail that spans from Mexico through California all the way up to Canad. Oh, and she's doing it alone

At the moment Cheryl takes her first step on the PCT, she's broken. Cheryl and her mother were incredibly close, but when her mother passed away several years before, something shatters inside Cheryl. With a few years Cheryl went from an about-to-be-college graduate with a loving husband to being a college dropout who's cheated on her husband, as well as being a heroin user.

Now, divorced and finally alone, Cheryl is all by herself and determined to make it on the PCT. There's bears and rattlesnakes and an army of little black frogs (that one would have broken me!) along the way. And more importantly, there's healing. Among the trees and the snow and the blisters and the falling off toenails, and along that foot and a half wide path, Cheryl begins to heal. She begins to heal from the absence of her abusive father, from the death of her mother, from the death of the life she knew, from the mess she made of her marriage, and from all the little things she did along the way.

There's plenty of dark moments in this book, and there's plenty of challenges. But out of those moments comes inspiration. And hope. Hope that even at your lowest point, even when you've blown your own perfect life to hell, even when you've strayed so far from the person you were meant to be, you can still become that person. And, if you're lucky, maybe you can be an even better and stronger person than you thought possible.

Sometimes the bad things and the tragic things and the mistakes are only your beginning (not your end) and there's so much waiting for you--you only have to start walking.

Thanks for reading! Cheers!

Up Next: "Adventures in Belfast" by Caroline Oceana Ryan

ETA: Friday!

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