Last time, I discussed about “Bearing the Unbearable” in part 1 of the book review Wild, by Cheryl Strayed. In the book, the author also took a moment to discuss her last name: Strayed.
When Cheryl got divorced, she also picked out a new last name for herself. The word “Strayed” popped into her head and she provided a dictionary definition:
- to wander from the proper path, to deviate from the direct course, to be lost, to become wild, to be without a mother or father, to be without a home, to move about aimlessly in search of something, to diverge or digress
She knew that “Strayed” had to be hers. It was everything she had become. Even though the word highlights the most negative aspects of her life, she picked it to remind herself that in her darkest days, in her straying, she had become lost. And because she was lost, she was shown things she wouldn’t have seen otherwise, and it brought her places she wouldn’t have gone.
Sometimes seeing things from another angle makes all the difference. Just like how most people would see being “astray” as an unfavourable situation, Cheryl sees it as something beautiful. Hardships in life is best to be avoided, but sometimes, through these struggles, we learn things about ourselves we couldn’t have ever known before. When we get lost, we wander to find our way again, but through wandering, we also discover.
Through each and every trial in our lives, we become more powerful as humans. We fill our stories with experiences. We have a greater understanding. Similar to how every time we catch the flu, our body’s defense expands all the more.
This book has brought forward the idea that it’s okay to stray and be lost sometimes. It’s okay to deviate off track. Hardship only leads to an opportunity to see something new, and empowers us to do things we didn’t know we could do.
Read part 3!