Understanding Life Backwards | Wild (part 3)

This is the final part of the book review of Wild. In my opinion, it is also the most beautiful part, all confined to the last 2 pages of the book. After 3 long and brutal months, Cheryl had finally reached her end point. But at this point, Cheryl reveals to us everything she didn’t yet know at that instant when she was standing at the end of her hike in Portland with nothing. No money, no family, no job. She didn’t know how in a few years, she would meet and marry her new husband in Portland, and in another few years, be a mother to her son and daughter. It was only after a good 15 years after the hike, did she realize the true impact it had on her life, how the impact it would have on other people when she writes her book.

Life is a funny thing, because at any point in time, we are never certain of what will happen next. The future is always a foggy mess, mysterious and scary. We never really know where we’re going until we arrive, and only when we look back, do we understand how each little seemingly useless path had led us to where we now stand.

Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards. – Søren Kierkegaard

I believe that every step in our lives contributes to something bigger down the road. When I first decided to pursue my master’s degree, I didn’t exactly know why I was doing it other than to avoid a quarter-life crisis. Within 3 months into it, I found myself the most helpless I had ever been in my academics, and I wondered for the first time if I would fail.

But good things, as do bad things, happen outside of our control. What I didn’t know was that within these 2 years, I would build extraordinary friendships that will last beyond the scope of our projects. That because of the horrible experiences, we now have something to laugh about. That because of them, I would travel to India, and later have a precious godson to share the same birthday with. That in the end, it is all worth it. It’s hard to say if it had to be this way for me to be here now, but this is how it makes sense to me. Looking back, I can finally see how the puzzle pieces fit together, and finally understand how one thing led to another.

My future is still very uncertain and I can only guess where I will be in a few years. There are many places to go, and loads to discover, and I know there will be highs and lows. There will be days where I jump with pride, and other days when I feel disappointed with myself. But I need to keep in mind that in the times when I don’t understand where my life is going, I just need to be patient enough to wait, perhaps a few months, perhaps a few years, for the entire story to unfold itself, and trust that it will be a story worth living. I can’t wait to look back!

Read Part 1 and Part 2!

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One thought on “Understanding Life Backwards | Wild (part 3)

  1. Pingback: Why It’s Okay to be Lost | Wild (part 2) | Dreamless Night

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