"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."
That I read Cheryl Strayed's book Wild while going through the selection process for my own grand adventure is a timely coincidence. There is nothing about her solo journey along the Sierra mountain trails from southern California to Salem Oregon that appeals to me, except that she did it, and that she grew along the way. Adventure, for me, takes a different shape, but I completely respect her commitment to the experience, and I envy her incredible gift for telling her story.
Often adventure memoirs are written by athletes/outdoors people who have a good story but not necessarily the means to tell that story well. Strayed has both the story and the tools to tell it.
This is a book I will re-read. That is not something I do often, as there are so many stories out there waiting to be read. I feel as though on first reading I took in the story of Strayed's journey, and that a re-reading will foreground the lessons. As an author, Strayed is witty and self-aware. In contrast to my trouble remembering that Z was a novel, with Wild I had trouble remembering it was a memoir because the plot, characters and setting all move so well in the narrative.