“…I considered my options. There were only two and they were essentially the same. I could go back in the direction I had come from, or I could go forward in the direction I intended to go.” – Cheryl Strayed, Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail
Reading and I are in a dysfunctional relationship. We have our highs and lows like any other couple: There are seasons where I have to turn down new books because there are too many good ones on my nightstand. But there are also low points where I wonder “Is the world filled exclusively with YA books about terminally ill vampire teenagers, living in a dysotopia future and fighting for their lives, while riding the roller coaster of love?!?”… Not that I haven’t read those books and maybe enjoyed one or two.
Anyway, earlier this summer I was in a drought. Books were letting me down and it was extremely frustrating especially with all of the travel coming up.
In the spring, I discovered a new podcast and in June the hosts kicked off a virtual book club featuring two books, Delancey and Wild**. I requested both from the library and anxiously awaited their arrival.
In general I love a good memoir*. Stories of perseverance, struggle, love and loss, are really inspiring to me. I need that kind of encouragement.
I’m going to highlight Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Coast Trail today.
Wild follows Cheryl Strayed, when at 26 she decided to solo hike the Pacific Crest Trail. I know a couple who are currently hiking the trail and props to them because man, it sounds super intense! Cheryl lost her mother tragically to cancer when she was 22 and the next four years were spent in bad relationships, drugs, and a general sense of abandon. All which eventually led her to hike the 1,000+ miles solo. Though you won’t find me hiking that kind of mileage, the lessons Cheryl learned: constantly moving forward, taking one step at a time, are universal. There were many moments Cheryl faced, where that I thought to myself, “Could I actually do that?”
I’m not losing toenails over here (Cheryl lost a few), but we all face challenges that seem impossible. Thankfully, with the help of family, friends, faith and maybe even band aids and duck tape we are able to stand up and walk forward.
Reese Witherspoon bought the rights to Wild and will be starring in the movie coming out later this year.
Do you like memoirs? What books have you been loving lately?
**Listen to Erica and Kelsey’s discussion of Delancey and Wild here. Thanks for the recommendation!!