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. Continue reading
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
I just finished reading the book Wild, by Cheryl Strayed, and I was so moved by the many life lessons within the pages. If I were to write it all in one blog, it would be way too long. So I’m breaking them down and sharing them a little at a time.
To get you on board, Wild is a memoir of Cheryl, who suddenly lost her mother to lung cancer when she was 22. Following her death, Cheryl was desperately trying to keep her family together, just as her mother did, but soon realized that she could not. Slowly, her brother and sister became distant, and her stepfather, whom she learned to love as a daddy, also disappeared from her life. Cheryl spend the next few years going from state to state, sleeping with men, getting involved with drugs, and ultimately ruined what should have been a perfect marriage between her and her husband. When she finally got divorced, Cheryl had lost everyone she had loved and accepted as family, including herself. With nothing more to lose, she made an impulsive decision to hike over 1100 miles on the Pacific Crest Trail for 3 months, and spending every last dollar she had on the journey. Continue reading
I have a very big fear of embarrassment, rejection and failure. I hate losing and making a fool out of myself. Worst of all, I am extremely weary of what people may think of me. But I’m starting to see that we learn and grow not in succeeding or failing, but in the course of going through a process.
Too often I get intimated by the idea of losing and of coming up short, and I think a lot of people feel this way too because that’s what the focus is on. That’s what everybody notices and talks about. Success has become a primary motivating factor and failing has become a solid reason for not trying. I mean, if you knew you were going to fail before indulging in something, why even bother in the first place?
In a world of competition and opportunities, too often we shy away from the battle. I think this is one of my biggest set-backs as a person trying to advance myself. I’ve gotten into the mentality that if I were to compete as an underdog, I might as well not compete at all. But being the losing underdog who puts up a good fight and takes the beating, is far more respectable than one who backs out and never tries. Continue reading
I’ve been in a particular mood for animated films lately and I’m been contemplating on all the ones I’ve watched. I was inspired after watching one of Wong Fu’s Lunch Break episodes where they listed their top 3 Pixar movies. Pixar and Disney is great, but I think Dreamworks is also equally up to par. I’m starting to believe that animated films are my favourite type of movies. They have an infinite room for creativity, permitting them to speak to their audience in any way possible. Although cute and funny, they are incredibly touching because of how much we find ourselves relating to the characters. I’ve picked my top 3 animated films. It was a difficult choice and I’ve left some really good ones out, but I think these have left a lasting impression. If you haven’t seen these, you have to see them! It won’t disappoint. Here’s why: Continue reading
Keeping to the topic of emotions, anger is a perfectly normal feeling, yet it’s arguably the most important to manage. Anger has a very strong ripple effect which escalates quickly and subsides slowly. Contrary to sadness, which can be deeply hidden for a long time, anger is a very difficult emotion to contain within. Once faced with it, we have an immediate desire to make it known by directing this energy at something or someone. It is highly contagious and destructive not only to our mind, soul and intellect, but it can easily jeopardize our relationship with others. Our temperament is largely due to our given personalities, beyond our control, but the good news is that we are not made of stone. Our brains have a fascinating ability to adapt and mature through repetition and practice. In other words, we can train ourselves to boost our tolerance and adopt a more laid back character. I am not immune to feeling agitated myself, but here are some ways I use to keep myself more composed. Continue reading
Inside Out has been one of the most highly anticipated movie of the year. I’ve been impatiently waiting to watch this film to get a good laugh, but it seems that I never learn – Pixar is best at telling stories in ways that really hit home, leaving its audience with a mixture of warmth and melancholy. I’m an emotional person, and I should have known that watching a Pixar movie precisely about emotions would require a lot of kleenex. I went from laughing hysterically one moment, to practically sobbing the next. It seems like a perfectly innocent film at the surface, but on a deeper level, everyone can see a part of themselves in it. I think that’s the beauty of Pixar. It’s just so cute yet so damn profound.
“The most dangerous risk of all — the risk of spending your life not doing what you want, on the bet that you can buy yourself the freedom to do it later.” – Randy Komisar
Time and money. Those definitely fall into a category of their own. No matter what, there’s always somehow a lack of time and money to do what we want. But maybe that isn’t the biggest problem. We have a funny perception of time and money. We convince ourselves that some time in the future well beyond our sight, we will be richer and better off. By that time, we can surely afford to buy time to finally get to do the things we choose to push off now. We might be right, but boy, that’s a huge bet we make. So we postpone and wait, and later becomes even later. Continue reading
Bullying is a topic that is increasingly a concern to the public. Many are beginning to step forward to tell their stories, and we can see celebrities taking a firm stance against it too. All in all, we are seeing a pool of victims emerging with current and past experiences. We see a population still trying to cope with the hurt and we have an air lingering with trauma. So many victims are coming forth, but I’m starting to wonder what the bullies have to the say for themselves? Where are they, who were they, and why are they not speaking up? You will commonly hear people saying, “I used to be bullied”, but you will almost never hear people say, “I was a bully”. Well, here I am and truth be told: I was a big, fat bully, and I always will admit it (wait! let me explain! please don’t kill me yet!). Continue reading
I recently watched an interview on Oprah, and in the interview, she said that she often asks people, “what is your spiritual practice?. She describes that many times, the other person would get caught off guard and will maybe get a little defensive, saying, “well, I’m not religious or anything.” This is an interesting question because Oprah goes on to say that she didn’t ask them what their religion is. Spirituality is not necessarily related to religious practices. In modern definitions, it means the transformational process of oneself. We can think of this as self-growth, or aiming for meaningful experiences. In other words, Oprah simply meant “what do you do to take care of your body and your mind?” Continue reading