Death can do horrible things to a person. It can make us want to curl up in a ball and avoid the world at all costs. In some cases, it breaks us to the point where we take it out on other people. Destruction stems from deep wounds that have not had the chance to be healed. Perhaps one of the best modern-day examples of this theme can be seen through Cheryl Strayed's book "Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail," which was also recently turned into a movie.
Reeling from the loss of her mother, Strayed wakes up one day in a heroin-induced haze and realizes that something has got to give. In a last ditch effort to piece the remnants of her life back together, she hits the road. The entire premise of her story is how a shell of a person tries desperately to regain the woman that she used to be, before everything changed. Her tale is undoubtedly an uneasy one to tell. It demonstrates courage and fearlessness in the face of darkness. Everyone's talking about it, even Oprah, which means that it's only a matter of time before someone is moved so deeply by Strayed's story that they put it on themselves permanently.
Here are five ideas from "Wild," that would make excellent tattoos:
1. The horse
Without giving too much away, it's likely that many people who are reading or plan to indulge in Strayed's work, will want this one, once they come to the part where she explains her horse tattoo. It's an incredibly symbolic, goosebump-inducing part of not just her book, but of the human condition, particularly love. It can mean so many different things to so many people, which is what makes it so widely relatable.
2. An outline of the Mojave Desert
From maps of the United States to the stars and stripes on different flags, people have an affinity for tattooing geographical components of life on themselves. It's why some may be drawn to get an outline of the Mojave Desert, where the majority of the story takes place. As explained in the summary on the back of the book, Strayed hiked the Pacific Crest Trail through the desert with zero hiking experience under her belt.
Driven by the pain in her heart she trudged through the treacherous terrain. It's the ultimate testament of just how resilient the human spirit is, and how we can emerge from our weakest moments in life and use them to propel ourselves forward into the unknown.
3. The letters PCT
The acronym for the Pacific Crest Trail is simple, yet meaningful enough that it may be the perfect body art for someone who wants more subtle tattoos. Aside from Strayed's life changing journey, countless people have spoken up about the power of the PCT and how hiking it has transformed their lives for the better.
To each his own experience on the trail. Some will continue straight through from Canada to Mexico without many layovers. Others will start and stop and even abandon the route once they've found what they're looking for. More than just people, that space is filled with so many thoughts and ideas. As explained on PCTA.org, one hiker set out to prove to people that he wasn't just a slacker, that he could complete the hike and keep up with everyone else. It's a form of validation.
4. 'Please, I thought. Please.'
Oprah loved Strayed's book so much that she even went through it and picked out her favorite quotes, as she shared on her website.
Here's one of them from "Wild":
"I set my toothbrush down, then leaned into the mirror and stared into my own eyes. I could feel myself disintegrating inside myself like a past-bloom flower in the wind. Every time I moved a muscle, another petal of me blew away. Please, I thought. Please."
She explained that this piece deeply moved her, and it's likely she isn't alone. Many people have felt something similar to the emotion explained in the aforementioned excerpt. While the quote is a little long, people who go through with the ink may go for a shortened version, like "Please, I thought. Please."
5. 'The wilderness had a clarity …'
Oprah was also taken with this quote, which she pointed out on her website:
"Of all the things I'd been skeptical about, I didn't feel skeptical about this: the wilderness had a clarity that included me."
This was an important message in the book because it shows that regardless of the ending, Strayed didn't feel like she wasted her time. It's an insecurity that most people face when deciding whether they should embark on a journey of self-discovery.
To really learn what happened you'll have to read the book, but the moral of the story is that nothing is ever permanent and you're in complete control of how you react to life's curve balls. If you'd like a fresh start, consider laser tattoo removal.
Over 45 million US adults* are living with tattoos, but now permanent ink can be a thing of the past. PicoSure® is the world's latest breakthrough technology in laser tattoo removal providing faster results in fewer treatments. Visit www.picosurear.wpengine.com to learn more and find a PicoSure Practitioner near you. * Source: Harris Interactive, 2012