WILD by Cheryl Strayed

I just finished a memoir of a 26 year woman who was super low and mixed up. She had led what one would call a reckless life also she unfortunately had just separated from her husband and her mother just passed. Right after all this happens to her she decides to go on a search for radical aloneness by hiking the Pacific Crest Trail. The author is a fierce and funny woman and there are so many wise thoughts throughout. I wanted to post some of my favorite quotes in hopes that you’ll check out this book too.

“What if I forgave myself? I thought. What if I forgave myself even though I’d done something I shouldn’t have? What if I was a liar and a cheat and there was no excuse for what I’d done other than because it was what I wanted and needed to do?…What if I was never redeemed? What if I already was?”

“The universe, I’d learned, was never, ever kidding. It would take whatever it wanted and it would never give it back.”

“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.”

“It had nothing to do with gear or footwear or the backpacking fads or philosophies of any particular era or even with getting from point A to point B.

It had to do with how it felt to be in the wild. With what it was like to walk for miles with no reason other than to witness the accumulation of trees and meadows, mountains and deserts, streams and rocks, rivers and grasses, sunrises and sunsets. The experience was powerful and fundamental. It seemed to me that it had always felt like this to be a human in the wild, and as long as the wild existed it would always feel this way.”

“Miles weren’t things that blazed dully past. They were long, intimate straggles of weeds and clumps of dirt, blades of grass and flowers that bent in the wind, trees that lumbered and screeched. They were the sound of my breath and my feet hitting the trail one step at a time and the click of my ski pole. The PCT had taught me what a mile was. I was humble before each and every one.”

“Of all the things I’d been skeptical about, I didn’t feel skeptical about this: the wilderness had a clarity that included me. ”

“I set my toothbrush down, then leaned into the mirror and stared into my own eyes. I could feel myself disintegrating inside myself like a past-bloom flower in the wind. Every time I moved a muscle, another petal of me blew away. Please, I thought. Please.”

“The one for whom behind every hot pair of boots or sexy little skirt or flourish of the hair there was a trapdoor that led to the least true version of me. Now there was only one version. On the PCT I had no choice but to inhabit it entirely, to show my grubby face to the whole wide world.”

“The father’s job is to teach his children how to be warriors, to give them the confidence to get on the horse to ride into battle when it’s necessary to do so. If you don’t get that from your father, you have to teach yourself.”

“Of course, heroin could be had there too, I thought. But the thing was I didn’t want it. Maybe I never really had. I’d finally come to understand what it had been: a yearning for a way out, when actually what I wanted to find was a way in. I was there now, or close.”