Jon Krakauer took on the arduous task of covering the death of Chris McCandless, and I for one couldn’t be happier about that. To say that I loved the movie and the book is an understatement.
I watched the movie first, and usually I’m a strict “the book is better than the movie” kinda gal. But in this instance, I loved them both equally. I’m a pretty harsh judge of films (READ AS: I have little interest in viewing upcoming movies or flat-out dislike a lot of movies that my friends love), but I can honestly say this is in my top favorite movies of all-time. Stranger than Fiction, City of God, When Harry Met Sally, and now, Into the Wild. I know, it’s a weird list—let’s just move on.
Multiple times while reading the book, I had to put it down and redirect my eyes and mind to something else. It was THAT intense that I was on the verge of sobbing in public. I don’t condone judging people for breaking down in front of strangers, but looking at myself from someone else’s perspective as I marched along on the elliptical in a huge sweaty t-shirt made me feel like the crying wasn’t a good idea.
There were so many moments where I could easily put myself in his shoes. I HATE commercialism, big business, and what greed does to some people. When I graduated college, I told my father that I could easily live a minimalistic lifestyle and that I wished money didn’t matter so much. He shook his head as if to say, “You have so much to learn.” I stand by that statement and hope I never change, yet my mind is still blown at what McCandless did. Because although I say I hate these things, I have my bank accounts and credit cards.
He overcame so much, and he represents a part of human nature that I think exists in even people who abhor the great outdoors (if that’s a thing). McCandless stands for the the things we say we want to do, those unattainable dreams that are oh so impossible. Because honestly, what makes them impossible? We make them unreachable to ourselves. We can do whatever we want, but we hold ourselves back with fear or lack of confidence or insert reason why you can’t do what you really want. There’s almost always a reason to stop ourselves from doing what we say we’d love to do, when in actuality all we have to do is do what we love. It might be scary and it might end up being the wrong decision in the end, but if it’s something that we’d supposedly love to do then it should be worth it.
Maybe the reason this spoke to me so much is because lately I’m trying to do just this. Not in a selfish way, but my goal is to make my life the most ideal it can be and to live happily. Or maybe it’s because I can picture my boyfriend running off into the woods for a long period of time to find himself. Whatever the reason, I love Into the Wild, and I feel like Chris McCandless is my best friend.