Fifty Fifty Me: Wild

I guess I am behind. Guess what? Not caring that much. Guess why? Schooooooooooools out for Summa! Schooooooooooools out for ev-va! Okay not really, I have one more day of classes with my lovelies. I feel teary-eyed over the whole affair. I let a river monster sit in my lap and cry. I have to admit I kind of liked it. Not the crying part, the river monster was distraught, but the cuddle part.I shall think of him often wondering how he is doing as I also think about children of my past *cough* 24 years. I always think it is not possible to love the next round as much as this round because there is a lot of fear and apprehension that comes with September. This September is no exception. In fact I may be experiencing more fear than usual. Because of all of this accumulated chaos, I have not been up on my reading. I have hours and hours to catch up so I am sure I will meet my 50 book totals by December 31, 2012. I am hoping for 52. Currently I sit at 25. Exactly half-way. My record for a summer reading program is 15 books. We shall see how that goes!

The Book

I read Wild by Cheryl Strayed. I already talked about this book and the fear here. There was more to this book than just fear and reflection. Strayed was nearing rock-bottom when she set out for a trip up the Pacific Crest Trail. As a travel book, this story is enough for ME to want to hike the trail and I think of camping as incarceration. I have done t, loved it at one time, enjoy it occasionally, but prefer a 5 star resort now. There is something quite delicious about camping in the woods alone. That really appeals to me. I love to be alone with my thoughts and my imagination. I prefer not to talk but I can keep up with the best of them! Reflective is a word that describes me best. Or Self-reflective might be a better fit. There is a big long line of skills I am not perfect in or situations I could have handled better but like Strayed, I realize that those choices were important at the time. Learning things from mistakes and challenges is far more impact than by being awesome all the time. Sure I tell people I am awesome all the time, but the truth is – I am learning just like they are. The more I learn the less I know. I feel a real sense of kinship with Strayed. We both have come the same distance on a journey we had no idea how would turn out. I stepped into a crossroads and am ready to follow the path ahead of me after months of fear and indecision. I admit to being scared, but I also admit to it not holding me back any more.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen. Read it, loved it but it was not Pride and Prejudice. I love how her characters make me feel. It was a great read for those of you who can plow through books that are 200 years old. It’s not for everyone. But it IS for me. It is now official, I have read ALL of Jane Austen’s books. For those Jane fans out there, Netflix has a mini-series called Lost in Austen. If you know the story of Pride and Prejudice and loved it, this is for YOU! I loved it – all four hours of it. It was funny and if you are a Mr. Darcy fan (who isn’t!!!) then delighting in this fantasy is fantastic!

I loved Wild. It was the right book at the right time for me. I recommend it to everyone. I hope they glean something amazing from it too.

The Movie

I have only been able to see a couple of movies, It’s a Funny Kind of Story and Avengers. Obviously Avengers wins hands down as my favorite but It’s a Funny Kind of Story if on Netflix and is quite amazing! It is about a boy – teen rather – who tries to commits suicide and his parents discover him and get mad and his poor choices. He then checks himself into a mental ward at the hospital. He meets the best characters. This movie is like One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest – but with a happier ending. My daughter said it was a great book too. This is worth a look.

But Avengers…. BEST SUPERHERO MOVIE EVER! I hated the Hulk in previous TV shows and movies, but Mark Ruffalo is AWESOME. Shwarma steals the show. Because I am not objective, I have no idea if this is a good movie because I am a superhero geek or because it was a good movie. Not caring…loved it, want it and will own it when it comes out. That’s all I have to say about that. Since this is the second time I wrote about this movie…obviously I love it.

Next week I will read Under the Tuscan Sun – I hear it is awful. But the people who say it is awful loved Shades of Grey. Now THAT book is terrible… I suspect I will love random thoughts of a middle-aged woman’s mind, because after all that is what this blog is all about – that and other stuff.

Wild about Fear

Wild by Cheryl Strayed
Wild by Cheryl Strayed (Photo credit: bubbletea1)

June has been a bust when it comes to reading. I finished/completed/happydancedover the completion of my 3rd year, saw the A that was posted and breathed a sigh of relief! I am not quite finished because the project I was working on still needs to be forwarded to the powers at be at my office. I could say – whatever I have my mark – but I am not that person. Sooooooo my reading for fun mission has taken a back seat. I also needed time to digest the last book I read. Have you ever read a book and loved it so much you actually missed the characters? That was me this week. I took quotes and excerpts from the book and let them roll around my thoughts for a while. What excited me about this book is the fact that what the author achieved is no less great than my Edmonton Tourist Journey. We have both come to the same place in our lives where this is now my reality,

Perhaps by now I’d come far enough that I had the guts to be afraid. – Cheryl Strayed

I suspect I was too naive to be afraid when I started this whole process. Chin was up and I defiantly kept moving forward. I kept goal setting and achieving and moving along. Then suddenly I hit a wall. I was no longer fearless. I started looking at things differently. People in my life who would ignite a bomb and that would leave me with what I thought I needed to do, strike or douse the fire. When actually, all I needed was to stand still and feel the fear. Fear isn’t something that needs to be conquered. It needs to be faced. When people strike out, having that inner calm to face it, absorb it, take the parts that I need and learn from it is growth. Climbing over the fear ( which is an important step in the process) is no longer needed to get past it. Evolved is the word I like to use.

Things I use to fear:

  1. People thinking I’m stupid.  I am not but now it doesn’t bother me if you think I am. I use to engage in conflict to prove I am not less than smart. I am secure and comfortable enough in my own skin. People can judge all they wish too and I could care less. I will educate if you are misinformed, but that is not the same as raging. forcing an opinion on someone is not sharing ideas. I have no use for that type of bully in my life. So I no longer fear people thinking I am stupid. I am smart enough to not engage nor bait the trolls.
  2. Sweat. Sweat meant hot, stinky smelly and hard breathing. It meant lungs hurting and muscles crying. Now it means hard work, feeling great, focus and clarity. Working out has changed my life. I can no longer envision a world without it. Setting large fitness goals is scary but the single most satisfying challenge I have ever faced.
  3. Fail. I use to be afraid of trying something new and failing. I realize failing means something different to me than it use to. If I set a goal and cannot reach it, that just means it wasn’t the right goal, I need to think of a different path to get to that goal or learn about why I couldn’t reach that goal. To fail means to be educated.

It is good to fear things. Standing in the middle of your fear and taking the strength from it rather than taking the anxiety is the key. I love fear in a way I never thought possible. I stand in front of it, I look it in the eye and respect it. I have no doubt I will learn from it. It still makes me shake but I no longer run from it, I run with it. I am about to do the scariest thing in my life so far.

Perhaps by now I’d come far enough that I had the guts to be afraid. – Cheryl Strayed

I have come far enough to have the guts to be afraid.