Brave Enough – Cheryl Strayed

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“Love is the feeling we have for those we care deeply about and hold in high regard.  It can be light as the hug we give a friend or heavy as the sacrifices we make for our children.  It can be romantic, platonic, familial, fleeting, everlasting, conditional, unconditional, imbued with sorrow, stoked by sex, sullied by abuse, amplified by kindness, twisted by betrayal, deepened by time, darkened by difficulty, leavened by generosity, nourished by humor, and loaded with promises and commitments that we may or may not want or keep.  The best thing you can possibly do with your life is to tackle the motherfucking shit out of it.”

Brave Enough  is a collection of Cheryl Strayed’s best quotes, between her memoir Wild and her collection of “Dear Sugar” advice columns, Tiny Beautiful Things (which I reviewed for last year’s Bookstravaganza).  It isn’t much more than that, so having read both of those works before, I wasn’t REALLY reading anything new.  What this book does is take out the best quotes that work independent of the context with which they were written, and they cover lots of topics.  They’re inspirational in the way that Cheryl Strayed writes inspirationally, which is to say, quite blunt and side-stepping a lot of the bullshit you often see in “inspirational quotes” (you know the ones I mean – people put them on top of pretty nature pictures and use them as memes on social media).

I think this book would be a great gift idea for someone who needs unsolicited life advice or some words that just might click with the feelings they’re feeling.  Or just for someone to keep on their coffee table – it’s a little book, but even picking it up and flipping to a random page could lead to good intention-setting for the day.

So I end this blog post with one last quote which particularly resonated with me (which is thanks to both Cheryl Strayed and Emily Dickinson):

“The unifying theme is resilience and faith.  The unifying theme is being a warrior and a motherfucker.  It is not fragility.  It’s strength.  It’s nerve.  And “if your Nerve, deny you-,” as Emily Dickinson wrote, “Go above your Nerve.”

Books read: 8

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