I am so hesitant to do this, because my blog is usually reserved for my musings on life and Jesus and college. But I just finished one of the most motivating books I have ever read..and I think that’s worthy of writing about. (Also, I’m an English major, so a book review is entirely appropriate.)

I usually do not find myself feeling inspired by secular books. Especially not ones that are given a lot of media attention or hype, because I absolutely hate finding myself loving what everyone else loves too. I find so much more satisfaction picking up a novel that many people have never heard about, and then devouring it. Like the book is my own secret to enjoy.

When I picked up the book Wild by Cheryl Strayed, I was not expecting to be blown away and completely inspired. I needed a book to pass the time because I had recently gone through a break up, and wanted to get lost in someone else’s story for a while. Wild was recently made into a feature film starring Reece Witherspoon, and I reasoned that she wouldn’t be in a movie unless the storyline was good. So I began.

There were definitely some aspects of the book that I couldn’t relate too. For example, Cheryl’s cynicism in terms of an afterlife. However, her journey is entirely relatable to many women. She was recently divorced, 26 years old, and decided to embark on a life changing adventure to hike the Pacific Crest Trail…alone. The book describes her greatest triumphs and failures as she goes about this journey, and I found myself both rejoicing with her and feeling burdened for her.

The book is so much more than a detailed hike. It is a soul journey. A book that made me realize that a woman is capable of following her dreams, and that it’s okay to figure out what those are without the help of a male companion. The book gripped me, compelled me to act fearlessly, and dream big dreams. Cheryl is an incredible woman, with more courage than most individuals. She dared to go out and live, so that she could set herself free.

Any woman who need inspiration and a kick in the butt needs to read this book. There are heavy moments, there are uncomfortable passages, but there is a unique honesty that flows from the words on the pages. She encourages women to become fearless creatures. And in a world where women have succumbed to fear and distrust of men, her voice is so very needed.

After reading about her journey, I too want to be as strong and independent as Cheryl. I want to climb my own mountains, dream my own dreams, and forge my own way.

“I knew that if I allowed fear to overtake me, my journey was doomed. 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. Nothing could vanquish me.”-Wild

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