‘If your nerve deny you, go above your nerve’ – Emily Dickenson.
How many times have you found yourself toying with the idea of making a change, a brave escape or a leap of faith, only to find that your fear holds you back? Or say you’ve found yourself in the midst of a tough time, telling yourself that you’ll get around to living and enjoying life when the time is right? Yep, we’ve all been there. The thing is, though, it’s often in the face of adversity that we can really find our inner strength to make that leap, when we can feel the fear and just do it anyway. It’s at these precise moments that life is ripe for the picking.
That’s exactly where Cheryl Strayed, played in Wild by Reese Witherspoon began her story. Based on her bestselling memoir, Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail, Strayed embarked on a journey most treacherous across a 1100 mile trail in the US following the death of her mother (who she describes as the love of her life) and the inevitable spiral of depression and destruction that followed. Though the prospect of such a physical and mental challenge left her totally unnerved, she did it, and she survived. True to the memoir’s title, somewhere along that track she really did find herself. Cheryl’s inspiring story is now immortalised in film form, with Dallas Buyer’s Club director Jean-Marc Vallée at the helm and Academy Award winner Witherspoon stepping into those well-worn hiking boots. Needless to say, Oscar bells are already ringing.
It’s simply impossible to watch this movie and not feel compelled to do something ‘Wild’ in 2015, something that asks you to step entirely out of your comfort zone. So what will it be for you?
Have you been gazing out the office window, waiting ’til the courage finds you to put paid to those business ideas? Or do you dream of losing yourself in nature, perhaps on your way toward the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro and finding yourself at the top? Even in terms of relationships, how many of us have gotten stuck in relationships that cease to serve us well, fearful of imagining a life without that person, but knowing, deep down, that beyond fear we might find freedom?
Whatever situation you find yourself in, it’s life. It’s now. It’s not coming soon, it’s not done and dusted, it’s right here, right now. So we urge you to take a closer look at yours this year and ask yourself, what is it that you want to do? What is it that you’re afraid to do? Let 2015 be the year for piercing through the bubble of comfort that surrounds you and finding what lies beyond. As Cheryl said in another of her books, “the best thing you can possibly do with your life is tackle the motherfucking shit out of it.”
“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.” – Cheryl Strayed, Wild.
Wild hits Irish cinemas January 16th. Don’t miss it.