11 Essential Quotes From Cheryl Strayed's 'Wild'

The message of Cheryl Strayed's memoir Wild: From Lost To Found on the Pacific Crest Trail has resonated with hundreds of thousands of people since its release in 2012. The author's search for meaning and strength on a solitary trek through the brutal Pacific Crest Trail has inspired countless others to leave behind their own pain, insecurities, and failures and forge forward without fear. If you haven't read the book, maybe these Cheryl Strayed quotes from Wild will motivate you to grab a copy and start your own life-changing journey.

In Gilmore Girls: Revival, Lorelai Gilmore decides to change her life by embarking on a hike of the very same Pacific Crest Trail. She was, of course, inspired by Cheryl Strayed's bestselling book, which she was seen reading earlier in the miniseries. It seems a little strange that Lorelai Gilmore, not Rory, would be the one most impacted by a book in the revival. (And she was inspired by the book, not the movie; "Very different experiences," as Jess wisely notes.) But it's no surprise that this particular novel had such a profound affect upon her. Cheryl Strayed's novel of loss, terror, strength, and resurgence is a #1 New York Times bestseller, and the book — and movie — have changed so many lives.

Looking to jumpstart your own journey? Check out these 11 quotes from Wild, and read the book when you're done:

1. “I’m a free spirit who never had the balls to be free.”

2. “The universe, I'd learned, was never, ever kidding. It would take whatever it wanted and it would never give it back.”

3. “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.”

4. “I was a terrible believer in things, but I was also a terrible nonbeliever in things. I was as searching as I was skeptical. I didn't know where to put my faith, or if there was such a place, or even what the word faith meant, in all of it's complexity. Everything seemed to be possibly potent and possibly fake.”

5. “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.”

6. “I didn't feel sad or happy. I didn't feel proud or ashamed. I only felt that in spite of all the things I'd done wrong, in getting myself here, I'd done right.”

6. “I made it the mantra of those days; when I paused before yet another series of switchbacks or skidded down knee-jarring slopes, when patches of flesh peeled off my feet along with my socks, when I lay alone and lonely in my tent at night I asked, often out loud: Who is tougher than me?The answer was always the same, and even when I knew absolutely there was no way on this earth that it was true, I said it anyway: No one.”

7. “I was amazed that what I needed to survive could be carried on my back. And, most surprising of all, that I could carry it.”

8. “Fear begets fear. Power begets power. I willed myself to beget power. And it wasn't long before I actually wasn't afraid.”

9. “I had diverged, digressed, wandered, and become wild. I didn't embrace the word as my new name because it defined negative aspects of my circumstances or life, but because even in my darkest days—those very days in which I was naming myself—I saw the power of the darkness. Saw that, in fact, I had strayed and that I was a stray and that from the wild places my straying had brought me, I knew things I couldn't have known before.”

10. “It seemed to me the way it must feel to people who cut themselves on purpose. Not pretty, but clean. Not good, but void of regret. I was trying to heal. Trying to get the bad out of my system so I could be good again. To cure me of myself.”

11. “Uncertain as I was as I pushed forward, I felt right in my pushing, as if the effort itself meant something. That perhaps being amidst the undesecrated beauty of the wilderness meant I too could be undesecrated, regardless of the regrettable things I'd done to others or myself or the regrettable things that had been done to me. Of all the things I'd been skeptical about, I didn't feel skeptical about this: the wilderness had a clarity that included me.”

Wild by Cheryl Strayed, $9.49, Amazon

Images: Fox Searchlight Pictures; Giphy (10)