Thank you Jane Goodall

I’ve been reading a lot lately. I don’t know if it’s because there’s no wifi in my apartment, no Netflix in New Zealand, or that for the first time in awhile I have this really pressing urge to just learn. I’m currently reading many books, but my far favorite is “Reason for Hope” by Jane Goodall, my absolute idol since the 3rd grade. I feel like I’m reading my very own thoughts and feelings about many different topics on paper, and some opinions I have hazily formed in my mind over time and never been able to quite clarify were finally defined. 

This is a time in my life when I’m getting hammered with thoughts. I’m sure all you 20-somethings or almost 20-somethings can sympathize with not being able to get out of your head, and the endless questions cycling through your mind constantly. You have times when you say screw this, and other days or short stints you feel serious determination or feel inspired to DO something, learn something, or make something of yourself and put your name on the day. But they seem to to be rare. Pressures from society are just getting worse. You feel limited, sometimes you wish you could do something but that stronger voice or feeling in the back of your head tells you no. It’s not rational, it’s not traditional, it’s not good enough, there’s not enough money, it is not realistic. Don’t you wish we were free of that?

Most of us are lost without a known passion, and we want to pursue a calling, not a career. We are lost, distracted, unfamiliar, and unsure of which path to take in the process of trying to successfully define the role we will play in the world, and defining ourselves. 

The truth is, it’s not a matter of thinking about the meaning of life, but a matter of feeling the meaning of life. It is, in some ways, refreshing to clarify some of my hazy subtle thoughts and consciousness, have it be developed into words and having Jane Goodall’s autobiography lead me along. I’ve realized words can enhance experiences and perceptions, but they can also take so much away. We see something we know with the characteristics we are familiar with and define it as what it is, a butterfly. But this simple exercise takes most of the wonder out of it all. Once something is labeled it loses part of the curiosity and fascination behind it. 

 

Then why label ourselves? I don’t know about you, but I don’t want any, not even a small piece of the wonder or curiosity behind who I am gone. Endless components make up my personality, my experiences, my memories, and those endless thoughts and questions I have. But nothing can define me… and I love how the same applies to every person out there. I’ll let others define me by my actions, but accept that the journey to define myself is endless.

So I’m done trying to define myself, and instead I’m going to start appreciating and discovering the things that still remain a mystery.   

Isn’t that the whole fun in life?

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