When I first read The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho, I was either in late middle or early high school. I found it to be enchanting and transformative. For a long time after that first read I continuously returned to Coelho’s words and his promise that “when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.” I loved how his words gave me the freedom to dream and know that no matter what I attempted, I would not fail. I might not be successful, but everything would bring me one step closer to where I needed to be, as long as I didn’t give up on myself.
Upon my most recent read, I had a similar reaction. It reminded me that I should always be striving toward something, and that if I truly wanted it, the universe could bend to help me get there. In the wake of my recent breakup, I was pretty upset. The reason for the split as explained to me was that we were “growing apart.” But I think what he really meant was that I was growing up, and he was falling back into a lifestyle he trusted, one that was familiar to him. Coelho reminded me that my true love would not stand in the way of my Personal Legend. Basically, if he was the one, he’d accept my growth and movement instead of fearing it or wanting to hold me back. I have a renewed desire to find my passion in life, whatever it may be. And I know that once I am pursuing my dreams and my passions, I’ll be able to return to a possible love life. One that will support me in my pursuit and bring balance to my life.
While I admit that parts of The Alchemist need to be taken with a grain of salt, the overall moral of the story was one that resonated with me nearly ten years ago and today. With a message that powerful- how could I not recommend it? It’s a sweet story about a boy, but when you dig a little deeper I think you can find yourself in that boy.