Educated by Tara Westover
In my adventure of reading memoirs, Educated was high on my list. With reviews from Bill Gates & Barack Obama, Educated by Tara Westover was a memorable read.
I won't dive too deep, but it's about a young girl from rural Idaho who lives in a Mormon family. Following her father's eccentric conspiracy theories about the Illuminati, federal government trying to end them, and deep religious ties, Tara never attends school, never goes to the doctors and grows up scraping metal in a junk yard.
However, Tara finds all of this normal, believing her parents under their influence. After years of endless trauma, abuse and violence, Tara takes it upon herself for change. She starts self teaching herself years of missed school and gets admitted into university. Leaving her small hometown, she realizes the rubbish of her father's theories and for once, starts following her own thoughts.
Educated is an emotional roller coaster of emotions, family betrayal and self discovery.
I think what stood out to me the most is how Tara compared her siblings (including herself) who went off to college and those who didn't. Those left in Idaho stayed stuck in the mindset of the naiveness and ignorance that Tara once endured before.
But it's not about whether they had a formal education. I think it's more about the fact that all the Westover's who all ended up getting degrees had the courage and guts to leave their comforts of home for something new and liberating. In Tara's situation, she stays true to herself even if it means what she once called home is no longer a home.
Although Tara and I lived very different lives and experiences, hearing her story made me really curious and inspired. It made me see how life can be unexpected and everything can be turned upside down.
Will I be a sheep that follows the herd? Is it right for me to stay with my thoughts when everyone else thinks otherwise? How will I handle these situations? What is next to come for me?
It's scary because I don't have an answer. I can't predict the future and choose the best outcome. I can only wish for that, but it is only up to myself on how I want to write my own story.