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maybe i'm not quite wild enough

hannah's picture

i liked Wild better the first time i read it.

When I picked it up, it was because I was far from home and the prospect of reading a book about the Pacific Northwest appealed to me. It was because I, too, felt like I was looking for meaning. It was because I thought that maybe reading about someone else's vulnerabilities and dreams and journey would help me in mine. Even when I personally couldn't identify with Cheryl, I kept reading, oddly fascinated by a life so different from mine.

But today, when I am also far from home and looking for meaning, the book somehow doesn't appeal to me the same way. I feel vaguely as you would if you'd accidentally walked in on a stranger in pain or mourning-- compassionate, worried, and slightly uncomfortable. Part of this is because her life is so very different from mine, and while I'm impressed with her experiences (and her extreme good luck), I can't say that I share many of the same. As she outlines the intimate details of her life and the struggles she underwent, I sympathize.

But I cannot empathize.