The Wild Reflection
When Cheryl Strayed embarked on her journey to hike the Pacific Crest Trail, it was not without fear. Fear is a powerful driving factor of the journey she consciously decides to take. Facing her fears, she teaches herself to survive, to “keep going”, indulging in fear at moments but never letting it get the best of her. Alone with herself in the wild, Strayed is able to identify her fears, admitting and embracing them, demonstrating tenacity and commitment in being able to recognize her weaknesses, overcome them, and ultimately grow from them. Her uncertainty along the trail parallels our own fear of the unknown as we simply go through our lives – we know not what will happen, only we know where we hope to get to. And on our hike there, to wherever ‘there’ may be, we must all unknowingly walk on. A powerful story of perseverance, Strayed inspires readers to be daring, curious, motivated. she decided not to let her fear control her. As Cheryl said in the Wild
“I knew that if I allowed fear to overtake me, my journey was doomed. 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. Insisting on this story was a form of mind control, but for the most part, it worked. Every time I heard a sound of unknown origin or felt something horrible cohering in my imagination, I pushed
it away. I simply did not let myself become afraid. Fear begets fear. Power begets Power. I willed myself to beget power. And it wasn't long before I actually wasn't afraid.”
Wild is ultimately a serious undertaking, masterfully executed. Strayed was able to put together the experiences of her physical journey and those of the life that preceded in such a way that the story is a seamless blend of narrative and reflection. These reflections are...