April 5, 2018 – Lake Taupo, New Zealand
I had two dreams the night before I wrote this entry. I’ll spare you the details – my dreams are really weird, and you wouldn’t know the characters. Just know that they were both good dreams, in different ways.
With both dreams, I woke up with a sense of gratitude that I think has been missing the past few days. I’ve been feeling weary from travel, feeling a bit like I’m going through the motions, feeling a little bit lonely. It was a good reminder that while I may be physically alone, my friends and family are always close to my heart (and just a phone call/text away) and that I am in control of my body and my life.
It may also fit into something else I was thinking yesterday. I went into a cave and saw some glow worms. The tour guide explained the full life cycle to us (in gory detail, concluding with literally singing The Circle of Life from Lion King). The life cycle included being larvae for 9 months – just trying to catch food, suck its brain out, and poop glowing stuff to catch more food – hibernating in a cocoon for 3 (months or weeks, I don’t remember) and then being alive as a mature adult in order to mate for one day.
After the explanation, I was like “Why, though?” Obviously, I didn’t say it out loud. But, seriously, what is the point? The guide said they don’t even really have many predators (I mean, they live in caves. Who’s going through all that trouble?).
Anyway, later in the cave, the guide was talking about how in ~1 million years, the cave will have collapsed in on itself and will be open to the sky. And I was like “We will not be here to see that.” Again, not out loud. Also, I didn’t mean me, I meant humans. We just will not. Which brings me back to my earlier question of “Why, though?”
My immediate answer, which I think may be right, is that we should live to fulfill whatever we want (as long as it doesn’t hurt others). Not what someone else wants, not what we think the world wants/needs, but what we as individuals want. I know this sounds selfish, but would you call the glow worm selfish for eating 20-25 siblings to stay alive? Nope. And that even breaks my rule of not hurting others.
But the other thing I think layers onto this is that humans need other people. I’m an introvert who prefers alone time and gets social anxiety when meeting new people, yet I’ve been craving human contact on this trip.
We also are not glow worms. We have aspirations, and societies, and technology, etc. There is something different about humans that makes us want more than just gestate, eat, mate, die. Glow worm friend will never want to break out of his mold or try something new. He just wants to survive.
KEY TAKEAWAY – do what feels right for you, don’t be afraid to be different.
Check out this post to start Joy’s journey from the beginning.
For more from Joy, check out her Know Your Worth interview.