This is another book club selection that I wouldn’t have touched on my own. My concern was that it would be an Eat, Pray, Love type thing. I did not enjoy Eat Pray Love. In fact, I disliked it so much that despite my unwavering adoration for Julia Roberts, I couldn’t even get though more than 10 minutes of the film version. Thankfully, this was not the contrived, self indulgent, publishing house sponsored, spiritual quest I’d expected. Instead, it was an honest memoir about overcoming grief and renewing one’s sense of self.
A true story, Cheryl Strayed took to the Pacific Crest Trail in the mid 1990s, alone, to find herself. It was a ballsy undertaking, especially since she was a relatively inexperienced hiker. However, she was broke, recently orphaned, divorced, and had dropped out of college. On top of it all, she was struggling with substance abuse issues. She really didn’t have anything to lose.
What I personally I took away from this book was a slight pang of deep-seated regret. There’s a part of me that wishes I’d done something amazing and bold when I was young and capricious. I watched many of my friends take off on adventures, often to other continents, after we graduated from University. I stayed behind, working my ass off at soul crushing, minimum wage jobs, never quite getting ahead, while I tried to figure out what to do with my life. I would never change for a minute, where I ended up today, but I sometimes wish I’d had the courage to try something monumental along that journey. Not this exactly, but something.
It was exciting to live vicariously though Cheryl though. Her pilgrimage to reclaim her life was inspiring. It was an enjoyable book to read.