Friday, June 27, 2014

No church in the wild, hmmm...maybe not; but there sure are writers out there!

I recently finished reading Cheryl Strayed's, Wild a memoir about her 1995 journey on the Pacific Crest Trail. For all of you that don't know what and where the PCT is (because let's be honest, how many of us actually remember what we learned in geography class even though I'm proud to say that I do remember what a plateau is), it's a hiking trail that stretches from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon to Washington State. Although Cheryl has very little hiking experience to take on this type of trail, she makes up her mind to hike the PCT all by her 26-year old self following the split from her ex-husband. Wearing hiking boots that are a half-size too small and carrying a backpack the size of a mini refrigerator, Cheryl leads herself astray on the PCT tossing blackened toe nails in between hikes while drinking water diluted with iodine pills along the way. Sounds like a major struggle right? Yes! All for nothing? Not exactly.

Cheryl a.k.a. the hard-ass mother-[bleep] Amazonian Queen (her words not mine) has quite an enlightening experience on the PCT. She faced new fears, overcame old fears, found inner peace, and toned her body along the way (not a shabby deal if I might say so myself). Don't believe me, check out what this highlighter maven happen to snag while reading Wild:
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. I decided I was safe. I was strong. I was brave. Nothing could vanquish me.
I don't know about you; but I thought this was a pretty profound statement simply because it sheds light on something that we're all guilty of, magnifying our worries and allowing them to dictate the choices and decisions we make in our lives. I know that I've been guilty of doing this, which is why I make a conscious effort to be fearless in my decision making. For example, my 25-year old self recently ended a relationship with a man that I had gotten engaged to shortly after we met. Although I was a fiancé without an engagement ring and he lived in a different country, I accepted his marriage proposal via cellphone (yes, I really got engaged over the phone). It was the very first time that I had gotten into a relationship without going through a 2-month friends ONLY trial period beforehand, so as you can imagine it was all new to me and very shocking to my friends and family when I shared the big news with them (my mother is still in denial that the whole thing ever happened). But I was gung-ho about marrying him until one day I wasn't. One day turned into 2 days then 2 days turned into several weeks then before you know it, I was pretty darn sure that I didn't want to be his wife anymore, at least not yet anyway.

What I'm trying to say is that although he and I are both good people and I had already agreed to be his wife, that doesn't give me an excuse to succumb to my fears of what my friends and family might think about me for making one of the wildest decisions of my entire life then calling the whole thing off. I decided that this was the safest decision for me at this point in my life. I am strong enough to handle the blow back that I may receive because of my decision. I am brave enough to move on with my life. Nothing could vanquish me because God has my back.

For those of you that have read Wild, what did you think about it? For those of you that haven't, do you think this is something you might want to read? Either way, I am very interested in hearing what you have to say, so comment below.

Should you Open or Close this book? Open it! It's worth the read.
Would I read another book by this author? Yes
What will I read next? #GirlBoss by Sophia Amoruso



  1. Good read, Abby! It's amazing what we can accomplish when we throw up our hands and let go. People are going to judge regardless of what decisions we make, so it's best to just "do you," as they say. I feel like I'm preaching to myself as a type this so perhaps I truly need to practice what I preach. Ha!

    I applaud you for making a decision about your fiancé -- one I'm sure wasn't done lightly -- despite the noise from outsiders, and having the strength to stand firm in it. Much like Cheryl, you tip-toed into uncharted terrain and came through a stronger, more self-aware person on the other side! *stands in front of computer and claps*

    1. Monte, you're so right about people judging others about the decisions they make, but at the end of the day we know ourselves; therefore, we must think about self first. Just to be clear, I am in no way encouraging selfishness; however, someone has to look out for you and that someone is you, so we should not get preoccupied with appeasing everyone else's thoughts about our personal matters. Thanks for the support!