MY FAVORITE QUOTES FROM WILD BY CHERYL STRAYED

Thank you so much to @talor for this beautiful request. ❤️❤️❤️ I would love to just say the whole book, but unfortunately I don't think it would fit. These quotes aren't in any particular order.
  1. What if I forgave myself? I thought. What if I forgave myself even though I'd done something I shouldn't have? What if I was a liar and a cheat and there was no excuse for what I'd done other than because it was what I wanted and needed to do? What if I was sorry, but if I could go back in time I wouldn't do anything differently than I had done?
    What if I'd actually wanted to fuck every one of those men? What if heroin taught me something? What if yes was the right answer instead of no? What if what made me do all those things everyone thought I shouldn't have done was what also had got me here? What if I was never redeemed? What if I already was?
  2. It had nothing to do with gear or footwear or the backpacking fads or philosophies of any particular era or even with getting from point A to point B. It had to do with how it felt to be in the wild. With what it was like to walk for miles with no reason other than to witness the accumulation of trees and meadows, mountains and deserts, streams
    and rocks, rivers and grasses, sunrises and sunsets. The experience was powerful and fundamental. It seemed to me that it had always felt like this to be a human in the wild, and as long as the wild existed it would always feel this way.
  3. The thing about hiking the Pacific Crest Trail, the thing that was so profound to me that summer- and yet also, like most things, so very simple- was how few choices I had and how often I had to do the thing I least wanted to do. How there was no escape or denial.
    No numbing it down with a martini or covering it up with a roll in the hay. As I clung to the chaparral that day, attempting to patch up my bleeding finger, terrified by every sound that the bull was coming back, I considered my options. There were only two and they were essentially the same. I could go back in the direction I had come from, or I could go forward in the direction I intended to go.
  4. The bull, I acknowledged grimly, could be in either direction, since I hadn't seen where he'd run once I closed my eyes. I could only choose between the bull that would take me back and the bull that would take me forward. And so I walked on.
  5. I was twenty-two, the same age she was when she'd been pregnant with me. She was going to leave my life at the same moment I came into hers, I thought. For some reason that sentence came fully formed into my head just then, temporarily blotting out the Fuck them prayer. I almost howled in agony. I almost choked to death on what I knew before I knew
    I was going to live the rest of my life without my mother.
  6. I would want things to be different than they were. The wanting was a wilderness and I had to find my own way out of the woods. It took me four years, seven months, and three days to do it. I didn't know where I was going until I got there. It was a place called the Bridge of Gods.
  7. By the time I rose and started walking again, I didn't begrudge my mother a thing. The truth was, in spite of all that, she'd been a spectacular mom. I knew it as I was growing up. I knew it in the days that she was dying. I knew it now. And I knew that was something. That it was a lot. I had plenty of friends who had moms who-
    no matter how long they lived- would never give them the all-encompassing love that my mother had given me. My mother considered that love her greatest achievement.
  8. I looked up at the blue sky, feeling, in fact, a burst of energy, but mostly feeling my mother's presence, remembering why it was I'd thought I could hike this trail.
  9. "There's always a sunrise and always a sunset and it's up to you to be there for it," said my mother. "Put yourself in the way of beauty."
  10. My solo three-month hike on the Pacific Crest Trail had many beginnings. There was the first, flip decision to do it, followed by the second, more serious decision to actually do it, and then the third long beginning, composed of weeks of shopping and packing and preparing to do it.
    There was the quitting my job as a waitress and finalizing my divorce and selling almost everything I owned and saying goodbye to my friends and visiting my mother's grave one last time.
  11. Her death had obliterated that. It had obliterated me. It had cut me short at the very height of my youthful arrogance. It had forced me to instantly grow up and instantly forgive her every motherly fault at the same time that it kept me forever a child, my life both ended and begun in that premature place where we'd left off.
    She was my mother, but I was motherless. I was trapped by her but utterly alone. She would always be the empty bowl that no one could fill. I'd have to fill it myself again and again and again.
  12. I'd made the arguably unreasonable decision to take a long walk alone on the PCT in order to save myself. When I believed that all the things I'd been before had prepared me for this journey. But nothing had or could. Each day on the trail was the only possible preparation for the one that followed.
    And sometimes even the day before didn't prepare me for what would happen next.
  13. It seemed like a long time and also it seemed like my trip had just begun, like I was only now digging into whatever it was I was out here to do. Like I was still the woman with the hole in her heart, but the hole had gotten ever so infinitely smaller.
  14. I had diverged, digressed, wandered, and become wild.
  15. I watched it bounce- it was lightning fast and in slow motion all at once- and then I watched it tumble over the edge of the mountain and down into the trees without a sound. I gasped in surprise and lurched for my other boot, clutching it to my chest, waiting for the moment to reverse itself,
    for someone to come laughing from the woods, shaking his head and saying it had all been a joke. But no one laughed. No one would. The universe, I'd realized, was never, ever kidding. It would take whatever it wanted and it would never give it back.
  16. The people in my life were like the Band Aids that had blown away in the desert wind that first day on the trail. They scattered and then they were gone.
  17. I'd finally come to understand what it had been: a yearning for a way out, when actually what I had wanted to find was a way in.
  18. Monster was my world, my inanimate extra limb. Though its weight and size still confounded me, I'd come to accept that it was my burden to bear. I didn't feel myself in contradiction to it the way I had a month before. It wasn't me against it. We two were one.
  19. I've never had a mind for math... It was a logic that made little sense to me. In my perception, the world wasn't a graph or a formula or an equation. It was a story.
  20. I'd set out to hike the trail so that I could reflect upon my life, to think about everything that had broken me and make myself whole again.
  21. 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... Fear begets fear. Power begets power. I willed myself to beget power. And it wasn't long before I actually wasn't afraid.
  22. There's no way to know what makes one thing happen and not another. What leads to what. What destroys what. What causes what to flourish or die or take another course. But I was pretty certain as I sat there tonight that if it hadn't been for Eddie, I wouldn't have found myself on the PCT.
    And though it was true that everything I felt for him sat like a boulder in my throat, this realization made the boulder sit ever so much lighter. He hadn't loved me well in the end, but he'd loved me well when it mattered.
  23. In moments among my various agonies, I noticed the beauty that surrounded me, the wonder of things both small and large: the color of a desert flower that brushed against me on the trail or the grand sweep of the sky as the sun faded over the mountains.
  24. How wild it was, to let it be.