I’m Doing ‘Wild’ – A Journey of Self-Discovery

Last night, I read the final chapter to ‘Wild’ by Cheryl Strayed. I had heard of the book before and saw that Reese Witherspoon was portraying Strayed in the film, but I never thought of reading it until the Gilmore Girls Revival came out.

Lorelai walks into her kitchen and greets Luke by saying, “I’m doing ‘Wild’.” 

“The movie or the book?”

“The book.”


There’s this moment Lorelai has when she’s on the phone with her mom, standing somewhere in California, where she is experiencing that cathartic moment. That moment in nature where she breathed in fresh hair, titled her face towards the sun, and just felt okay. I wanted that. I wanted to feel okay.

Okay with every decision I’ve ever made, regardless of the outcome.

Okay with uprooting my life to live far away from friends and family.

Okay with being me.

I didn’t get the urge to embark on the PCT from reading ‘Wild.’

It didn’t make me want to skip a shower for a week or lose my toenails from the friction of rubbing against my hiking boots.

It didn’t make me want to connect with nature, mostly because there’s this one part where  Strayed almost steps on a rattlesnake and I just do not want that.

What I did get, however, was a reminder that, though I’m not walking thousands of miles in the heat and snow and rain wearing a hiking backpack named Monster and eating granola with milk powder for breakfast, I am doing ‘Wild’.

I’m just doing it my own way.

Just like I’ve done with everything else in my life so far.

In the beginning before she began the hike, Cheryl Strayed was lost. I use that term loosely, but, in essence, she was disconnected with herself, therefore being lost. She wasn’t in touch with her siblings, her mother was recently deceased, she was divorced and battling with drugs. She wasn’t her whole self, only bits of pieces of the most devastating parts.

Her decision to hike the PCT was a rash one and throughout her journey, you see her unpreparedness unravel. Despite this, she kept pushing forward, tackling each obstacle as it comes her way.

She encountered roadblocks, like the rattlesnake, but walked around it.

She endured pain, like losing her toenails and patches of skin of her hips, but mended her wounds with temporary bandages until they could heal themselves over time.

She was starving at times, longing for a Snapple lemonade or a home cooked meal, but nourished herself with what she had then and there, even if it was powdered milk and granola.

She did it. 

She embarked on this solo journey and made it up as she went along. And though she began to adjust to her new life in her new habitat, she didn’t understand why she did this whole thing until much later.

Sometimes, most of the time, life just does not make any sense.

We find ourselves in situations wondering how we got there or what to do next.

We encounter roadblocks, and we can either let them stop us, or we can walk around them.

We endure pain from loss or heartbreak or defeat, but until we’re strong enough to heal ourselves, we must temporarily protect our wounds from further damage.

We starve ourselves constantly, be it with food or other pleasures, but as we pursue what fills us, its important to be thankful for what we do have and to know that it will sustain us for now.

If ‘Wild’ taught me anything, aside from the fact that the extra weight from a water purifier is worth it, it’s that self-discovery can present itself in many ways, but you have to actively pursue something in order for it to make itself known.

It’s why Cheryl hiked the PCT.

It’s why Lorelai hopped a plane from Connecticut to California.

It’s why I moved far away and started a new life completely.

I want that moment in nature where I breathe in fresh hair, tilt my face towards the sun, and I just feel okay.

Okay with every decision I’ve ever made, regardless of the outcome.

Okay with uprooting my life to live far away from friends and family.

Okay with being me.

I’m embarking on this journey of self-discovery in my own way. There are days where I encounter roadblocks, days when I’m in pain, and days when I just can’t get enough of anything to fill me up.

But it’s part of my journey, and I might not understand why I’m doing all of this right now, but one day, I will know why.

Until then, I will do my own ‘Wild’.

(The book, not the movie)

And I will let it be.


“How wild it was, to let it be.”


What do you think?