The 180 ton whale in the room

My roommate is afraid of whales and I think that says a lot about him. I’ve mentioned it before: it bothers him deeply that they are so large and so pointless. I’m watching Blue Planet right now and what else was the opener but blue whales. Do you remember the first episode? “Their tongue weighs as much as an elephant.” “Their hearts are the size of a car.”

Matt: “They shouldn’t be. They don’t do anything.” The thought of something that size–30 meters–just floating in the ocean…loitering, eating, milling, eating, moseying….sends shivers down his psyche. But that’s just it, I would argue back, they’re perfectly harmless! To me, this irrational fear was delightful, cute even. An adorable quirk equivalent to being afraid of a bunny.

But I think I get it now (or at least I have over-thought it enough that it has become an unintentionally meaningful metaphor for my life). A natural, multi-talented go-getter himself, the whale represents his greatest fear: something without purpose, drive, skills, creativity, or a Puritan work ethic. Not only does it lack those things, but it lacks them in an enormous way. Each whale embodies a wayward college grad and the ocean is Portland, you guys!

I read this article today posted by The 99 Percent about people who are living in the shadow of their dream. The people who are always talking about what they want to do instead of living their dream. Do you see where I’m going with this? Whales. These people are whales and don’t even know it, they’re fighting it. I don’t want to be a whale. You don’t want to be a whale. We want to be living our dream careers like the annoying Disney-princess-movie-fed millenials we are. I think after graduation we all suffer from a deadly cocktail of enthusiasm and ennui as we begin our job search. Life changes, our friends are dispersed, relationships change…man it can be tough times. We start thinking that krill’s not so bad, that we’ll go back to souffles soon.I start thinking it.

But listen: We all have time to to make dramatic changes in our lives and still bounce back. It’s too early to get stuck in a rut. There’s no reason to let yourself have regrets right now…

Ok. Circle back, Jacklynn. Despite my list of aphorism, I don’t know what this means for me. I don’t have a five-year plan, which apparently Katie does (Katie?! How?!), but I know it must be ok. As long as I avoid morphing into a whale. I’ll just have to embrace my next adventure.

Your Turn: