Cheryl: God is a ruthless bitch
At the end of every journey you only find yourself.
What if you are a woman, running away from yourself, from what you've become? Trekking 1100 miles, alone, with a bag so large that it is nicknamed Monster by others, someone who has never hiked before, and who gets the wrong fuel for her hiking stove. Someone who is so wasted that she cheats regularly on her husband with random strangers, does drugs, and then when separating, chooses the name Strayed, because that's what she had done.
Stacey: You get lonely?
Cheryl: Honestly? I'm lonelier in my real life than I am out here. I miss my friends, of course but it's not as if I have anybody waiting for me at home.
The thing which kills, on a trail, or in life, is aloneness, the knowledge that the one you loved has been pushed back by you, and he has moved on. And now you crave his voice, the look in his eyes when he turned his head your way. Alas, often you push people away because you have been made the last priority in a world where you suddenly have no rights. And you feel - you have no right to live. Thus does self-destruction begin.
Cheryl: What if I forgave myself? I thought. What if I forgave myself even though I'd done something I shouldn't have? What if I was a liar and a cheat and there was no excuse for what I'd done other than because it was what I wanted and needed to do? What if I was sorry, but if I could go back in time I wouldn't do anything differently than I had done? What if I'd actually wanted to fuck every one of those men? What if heroin taught me something? What if yes was the right answer instead of no? What if what made me do all those things everyone thought I shouldn't have done was what also had got me here? What if I was never redeemed? What if I already was?
And that's the mystery of journies. You can only start them, you do not know where you will end. And if you are ready to let the straying path find you, and you have the guts to let the elements take you into their random peregrinations, you will be handed with both life's mysteries and it's moments.
Cheryl: Why are you here?
Stacey: I don't know. I just need to find something in myself, you know? I think the trail was good for that. I mean, look.
[They look up at the sunset]
Stacey: This has the power to fill you up again, if you'll let it.
Cheryl: My mother used to say something that drove me nuts. There is a sunrise and a sunset every day and you can choose to be there for it. You can put yourself in the way of beauty.
And that's the way solutions come - the way the problems do. Suddenly. When you least expect. Sometimes before you reach the Bridge of Dreams. Most often it is born in the womb of your greatest tragedies. When you choose the impossible trail, when you choose to back yourself over every possible difficulty.
Cheryl :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.
And this is the benediction we are a part of - this mysterious irrevocable sacred life.
Quotes from the film and the book by Cheryl Strayed "Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail"