“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.” – Cheryl Strayed
The bravest thing I have ever done was to move to New York City after college. When I moved, my only friend was a friend of the family who used to work as a Hollywood agent and drank and cursed more than any of the guys I knew in college. Her mother was a CIA agent and she was raised by nuns. She is 85 years old and makes for great company on a Sunday in NYC. She was married to the love of her life until his untimely death, still works everyday, and is known to leave a movie in the middle is she doesn’t like it. She is a very tough critic and she is also very brave.
I’m not as brave as my friend in New York, in fact I’m not that courageous at all. People wouldn’t describe me as spontaneous or bold. I don’t go willingly into the unknown. I research, organize and meticulously plot out every detail. Boring? It would be. But lucky for me I’m married to someone who is overflowing with spontaneity.
Even though I am not a bold adventurer myself, there is great beauty in adventure.
In anticipation of the new movie, I spent a week walking in the shoes of Cheryl Strayed in her book Wild: A Journey From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail. The most inspiring part of Cheryl’s story was not that she hiked as far as she did or that she did it alone, but that she was brave enough to simply do it.
Now to clarify, I have absolutely no interest in hiking until my toenails fall off or going weeks without showering by choice. However, it is so wonderful to think of letting everything go. Of having no attachments, nothing to hold you back, no fear. And if you have no fear, you must be very brave.