Into the wild....

I have been thinking a lot, recently, about life and the experiences we go through and the people we meet along the way. The main cause of these thoughts is a movie called Into the Wild that I watched the other day (the picture to the left is of the main character in one of my favorite shots of the movie). Now, I know that I jibber-jabber a lot about this movie and that movie, but this one is quite different. Very rarely, VERY RARELY, does a movie come along that changes the I think and act. I watch a lot of movies and, at least for me, I can say that it is rare. Into the Wild is one of those movies. I don't want to get into the whole gist of the movie. You can watch it if you are so inclined. Suffice it to say that is incredibly good and I consider it one of the best movies I have ever seen, if not the #1 best I have ever seen. The movie in a nutshell follows a guy, about my age, as he forgets society and goes on a trip to Alaska to live "in the wild". Half the movie is about his journey to Alaska and the other half takes place in Alaska when he is living in the wild. The whole movie he is looking for happiness and figures that when he is in Alaska he will find it being among the trees and animals in God's country away from society. On the way he meets a number of different people and has some great experiences with them where he both learns from people and vice versa. I don't want to ruin the movie or ending but the most moving part of the movie comes at the end. He has been in Alaska longer than 100 days and is growing weak. He comes to an understanding or has an epiphany of some sorts and writes, "Happiness is only real when shared." So he comes to understand that life isn't about the destination, its about the journey. All those experiences he had along the way to Alaska were the happiness he was seeking, not the actual experience of Alaska itself.

Like I said earlier, this movie really hit me. It got me thinking about what kind of life I am leading. When the movie first started I mentioned to my friend Donnie about how what this guy was doing was a lot of guys our age dream. I then commented, "Yeah, I couldn't do it alone though. I would need someone to share the experience with." That was at the beginning of the movie mind you. I was thinking about the blog I posted yesterday and basically whole attitude towards Utah in general. I am actually kind of ashamed of myself. I don't really think I am alone there though. I think a lot of us look at our current situations and just make the worst of it. We complain about whatever is going on that isn't good, when there are so many other good things going on. Instead of enjoying the journey and the experiences I am looking ahead to Alaska (or California in my case). Oh when I get to California it will be so much better. Instead of, Man, Utah has really treated me well. I've made tons of friends here that hopefully I will keep in contact with for the rest of my life. I have had a load of learning and growing experiences that have helped me become a better man. Regardless of the cold, regardless of the snow, regardless of lame serving jobs and school, I am really going to miss a lot about Utah.

What is it about friends that they are always leaving and changing? Tonight, I hung out with two good friends of mine, Steve and Amy. Steve was my very first roommate when I moved out here. I still would have to say to this day that Steve is probably still my favorite roommate ever. I have had a lot of good roommates but he, I think, is my favorite. Anyways, they are moving to Texas this weekend to be closer to her family and to be able to buy a home and what not. The whole night was spent reminiscing about past memories, inside jokes, and plans for the future. I really haven't had that much fun in a while. It makes me sad to think that I could never see them again. Possibly they might come out to California for a Disneyland trip, but maybe not. The point is that it saddened me to think of not seeing them ever again, but it makes me smile to think of the times we did share. When I was driving home I thought a lot about what it will be like when I move back to California. Will that feeling return 10 fold, or will I be relieved, or both? I hope I am able to look back on my experiences here with a smile and without too many regrets. I hope people feel somewhat of loss when I leave like I am feeling right now. Not that I want people to be sad or anything, but I think its always a good thing when people care about you enough that when you are leaving they are sad. I hope the experiences that I have had with my friends here will last with them as I'm sure they'll last with me. Happiness truly is only real when shared.


  • I love reading your blogs.

  • This blog touched me man. For real.

  • Don't forget to let me know when this movie comes out on dvd! Wish you could have been with me yesterday in El Yunque, you would have loved it!

  • OK, so I left my first comment before I finished reading your whole was kind of long so I couldn't finish it in that moment, I had to go back to it. I'm so glad you're having so many learning and growing experiences. And to answer your own wonderings, of COURSE people are going to miss you when you leave Utah. Think of how much Bill and Jeff missed you when you left California. I miss you! I definitely think we are a lot happier when we look at every situation and opportunity as a growing experience and to keep a good attitude! Glad you're having that same insight. Love you!

  • Were I a gayer man, I think I'd be in love with Emile due to that picture. I learned that lesson over the last couple years. I was over provo, so i ran away to logan. i didn't like logan, so i scurried back to provo. it is a never ending cycle, until one realizes hey...i just gotta be happy wherever i be. i have definitely had "the grass is greener on the other side" syndrome, and have realized...the grass can suck no matter where you are. its all about the people chompin' the grass along side you.

  • SO I rented the movie this weekend and got interupted a few times so I had to watch it in parts...I'm glad I re-read your blog today because I didn't think he ever made it to Alaska. I guess the whole movie was in chapters which were flashbacks? I didn't know that the bus was in Alaska! I thought the whole trip was in vein because he never made it to Alaska. I felt bad for the old man he met! I guess the end was a good message, but I don't know if I could sit through that movie again...definitely not my favorite! Sorry...I'm glad it hit you in a positive way though.

  • McCandless's story is tragic, but then so many people have benefited from hearing it...a couple of years of hitchhiking and camping made a story that now challenges thousands (millions?) of people to reexamine their lives

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