I've always loved that line: “It’s A Journey, You Animal!"
It celebrates life and frames ourselves as travelers with our very own path. Life may sometimes feel like an intimidating quagmire of randomness, but we can ignore the devastating wastes on our left and right.
All we need to do is find our path and follow it.
I’ve had this title mulling around in the back of my mind of late, and produced an intriguing question.
What if the essence of life doesn’t matter as much as how we frame it?
Conceptualizing life as a journey is healthy and fundamentally human. Doing so layers our experiences with meaning, it allows us to envision ourselves as building life rather than being buffeted by it. It allows us to take ownership.
But at the same time, recognize your heritage. Don’t forget that at heart, you’re still an animal. Animals are fickle and mysterious. However well developed our frontal cortex might be, we evolved to rely on instinct over reason. There are cogs and compartments inside of us that we can’t understand or even control, try as we might.
Why do we like what we like? Why are they important to us? Why are we drawn to those emotions? What choices are really ours to make?
Yesterday I was rolling along a bridge, walking with a couple of my friends, and stopped to look down over the edge. A pang of fear shot through my stomach as I looked down. My vision tumbled as I watched the sea. It wasn’t the fear of heights that got to me.
It was the fear of myself. Was there any hidden part of me that wanted to hop over the railing?
I think back to when I was kid, when I was my most animalistic. I don’t know how many choices that I made were truly mine. At the time, I picked my sports, friends and activities not for any grand reason. I just picked them. Without being much aware, I was just living, playing, enjoying, and wondering… but hardly contemplating. I implemented a few basic lessons my parents taught me, but for the most, I was almost fully animal.
And even though I grew up-
I still embrace it.
I don’t fight the animal inside of me. I make friends with it, guide it, and sometimes let it pull me along.
On dangerous ventures it’s the whetstone that hones my mind to a point, and on an endless cruise down an infinite highway, it’s the music gushing through me.
The animal is the uncontrolled layer. Don’t ignore it.
Feed the beast.
17th July 2017
“Live With Heart”