Review of WILD

Review of WILD

I sent this review of the Oprah Book Club 2.0 Selection "WILD" by author Sheryl Strayed to the OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network a few years back after I was given the book. 

I will never forget the feeling I had when the Oprah Winfrey Network alerted me on twitter that they were going to send out a copy of “Wild”. I was beyond enthused. When it arrived in all its glory, I missed it. After the hustle and bustle, I finally picked it up. While waiting for the book, I remember asking “what if Cheryl Strayed and Oprah signed the book?”. I was grateful to just get the book! And then To be asked share my thoughts…Priceless. When I opened the book there was a tiny card from Ms. Winfrey signed with the most beautiful green colored sharpie. My heart stopped, literally. 

Cheryl’s signature embossed like one I would expect from an author yet still miraculous. My mom and family jumped for joy, and on my first night of reading she said emphatically “Enjoy the book Angel eyes”. I replied with the usual “I will”. I shut my bedroom door and asked myself. What if I hate this book? I sat down, staring at the signatures as a sign of good luck.

When you know better you do better. My initial worry soon became ill faded. I loved the story of a woman dedicated to redeem her life, to re-claim her former self by hiking the Pacific Coast Trail. I soon realized the story went much deep than I anticipated. When Cheryl recounted stories of how she would ask her mother how much she loved her, each time stretching her arms further, it reminded me of me  my childhood.  I would ask my mom how much she loved me, she always responded with infinity.

Recently I separated a relationship after 5 years. We started the relationship when I was 15. As Cheryl discussed her divorce, the aloneness I felt became all too real. My father died at 16, and although he wasn’t around I could feel the gaping hope as Cheryl described In “Wild”. In essence, “Wild” became a mirror that reflected, painfully and beautifully my own life. “Wild” became the friend I could curl up to in bed, and without having to share my problems, they were already there with subtle solutions along the way.

Everyone has a PCT trail in their life, a trial or tribulation that strengthens them or forever breaks them down. In my life the “PCT” has been my career. I believe that one day I will be the top talk show host in America. By the age of 19 I started devolving my talk radio show “Troy”, and now I sit on the board of directors for a local TV channel, and also consult startup businesses with owners twice my age. The ravenous mountains in “Wild’ symbolized for me the ups and downs of having a plate this full, and goals as big as the Sierras. That truly is the beauty of the book. The mountains, the rattlesnakes, the abundant bodies of water could represent something different to everybody.

If it wasn’t for reading this book, I wouldn’t have felt complete. I let go of the anger I had towards my father, for not staying sober enough to see his baby boy start his path. I let go of the pain of separation, and I realized that I cannot control every moment of my career. My dreams are there, my hard work is there. I learned to let the universe guide me to my true destiny.

Cheryl felt every painful mile of the PCT, the ups, the downs, and the downright scary (Don’t remind Ms. Winfrey of the Frogs.!) Although others and Cheryl herself might not have understood why, she kept walking anyway. Determined to release her struggles and become her authentic self. When others scoffed at me, and years ago when bullies teased in high school, I kept walking. Determined blindly, as Cheryl was. I don’t know why I didn’t give up, but the universe knew why I had to stay in the game.

Life has a form of auto-correct ready to re-align us, when were too stupid or blinded by another being to see our true destiny. Somehow it knows how wildly amazing we’re meant to be, and wants us to enjoy every minute of our own PCT Trail. As painful as it may be, there is a giant ice cream cone waiting on the other side. (I can only imagine Cheryl’s excitement on her last stop enjoying every second of her cone). It is through the trials and tribulations that we learn that we are enough and that we are worthy. How amazingly, dark, twisted, beautiful, and wild that is.


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