I’ve asked myself this question a thousand bajillion times for a thousand bajillion scenarios across my life.
I’m just a monkey chasing my curiosity (really, according to the zodiac, I’m a monkey!)… I’m the Toys ‘R Us kid that’s always asking … Why?
I sold my soul to the dregs of corporate America for a full scholarship to college. And after burning out on Wall Street I moved to the Artist District in downtown LA, became a waitress and spent my free time at the neighborhood coffee shop studying for my GREs.
One day a patron got chatty and asked what I did.
Janetti: Oh, these days I’m just a waitress, prepping for grad school.
Patron: Hun, none of us are ever ‘just’ anything.
I’ve been correcting myself and others ever since. That statement gave me a lot of perspective. We’re oftentimes more than what we credit ourselves with.
Another story from the Black Swan by Nassim Nicholas:
“The writer Umberto Eco… Is the owner of a large personal library (containing thirty thousand books)… A private library is not an ego-boosting appendage but a research tool.
Read books are far less valuable than unread ones. The library should contain as much as what you do not know as your financial means … allow you to put there.
You will accumulate more knowledge and more books as you grow older… Indeed, the more you know, the larger the row of unread books.”
I choose to make the library from this excerpt analogous to the world. The world is not just my oyster! It’s my collection of people, places and things… Much of it not yet discovered but waiting for me to embark on page 1, chapter: Next
I live to learn. Every day hunting down the burning Why’s that cross into my universe. I find a lot of answers but most often than not, I come up with more questions.
It’s glamorous, exciting, and fun! Simultaneously stressful and exhausting, with much sacrifice. On most days I wake up and the glass is half full. But on some days I get stuck asking myself: Why do you live like this?
And then I remember the perspective:
Life is a series of experiences. And the climb to the summit of any mountain worth climbing ain’t ever easy. But you never know until you try.
Life is a process of elimination. So WHY not??!
Looking back at the lifetime of experience that’s gotten me here, it makes sense. And all I can do is continue to follow the Why? until I reach the top.
And then maybe I’ll take a little nap under the clouds…