It was only after I was deep into the jungle that I paused for a moment, looked around, and asked myself, “Why am I in the jungle in the first place?”
This jungle was one of my own making, constructed over years of accumulation of items ostensibly required to be happy and lead an enjoyable life. To continue getting enjoyment from this card game, just purchase the latest expansion pack! You enjoy a good stiff drink every now and then, so why not save money over going out and amass a giant liquor cabinet instead? Of course you need a second monitor for your desktop, how else can you be productive? And surely you don’t need to actually finish (or begin, for that matter) those video games before grabbing the newest titles! But when I stopped to critically examine my surroundings, I realized I was spending more time collecting and organizing those cards than actually playing with them. I was focusing more on the collection of liquor than actually taking the time to enjoy the drinks with friends. Not much I really enjoyed doing on my computer actually required that second monitor. And, perhaps most poignantly yet not all too surprising, there were only a very small number of games I ever actually truly enjoyed playing.
Entering the jungle must have seemed like a good idea at one point, otherwise I wouldn’t have ventured in… right? Somewhere along the line, I had let myself get distracted by the countless shiny road signs along my path that misdirected my focus from meaning to accumulation, and planted within me this bizarre notion that accumulation was required to lead an enjoyable and fulfilling life. I couldn’t quite pin down when that point was, though, and that I found troubling.
But only for a moment; after all, what good is fretting over that which cannot be changed when there’s a jungle to leave? So I turned around and walked back the way I came. I’m still emerging from the jungle, to be sure, but each step brings with it fresher air, and the smell is exhilarating.