Monday, January 19, 2015


Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest TrailWild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I don't know what to say about Wild, but I am so glad to have finally read it. Cheryl Strayed is a gifted writer, and if nothing else, the book is worth reading just for how well she describes her experiences and feelings. But Wild is more than that - it's honest to the point of being uncomfortable, and some people hate this book because it seems on so many levels that Strayed caused many of the problems that led to her misery and then she bemoans her condition. But I think that's just life in a nutshell and part of the growing experience that so many of us go through, especially in our twenties. While most of us don't go so far as heroin and cheating on a spouse, we still make less-than-perfect decisions and then, over and over again, are surprised at the pain and frustration that follows.

While Strayed's decision to hike the Pacific Crest Trail was ill-informed, naive, and reckless, I admire it so much. I love when people realize they cannot continue the path they are on and make a change. Again - Strayed's decision on so many levels was not a good one, but I understand that drive and yearning to stop waiting to live the life you've always wanted. When I reached that similar conclusion that Strayed did at an age not much older than she was, I didn't strap a hefty pack on and hike, but I did take voice lessons, I went back to teaching, I lost weight, and I stopped worrying about others' expectations about me and my life. It was the most liberating experience and has continued to push me towards being the person I always wanted to be. Strayed's hike didn't change all the hard things she had faced before she began, but it gave her the perspective she needed to face life in a healthier, more optimistic way. Reading her story reminded me that I cannot just wait for life to give me the things that I want. Instead I have to purposefully work towards those things, one step at a time.

Happy reading!

1 comment:

Jenny said...

I read this book right after Rachel was born and loved it. I loved your insights about it. Have you seen the movie yet? I haven't, but plan to!