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When You Return Home

I wonder if there is some kind of psychological study exploring the effects of frequently saying goodbye in one’s life. Yes, much of life is filled with beginnings and endings of various types. But I think there’s a limit to how good one can get in saying ‘goodbyes’.

I think saying goodbye to my mother at 28 is much different than when I was 8. As I think about my last day in Vancouver after a nice three-week trip, it put me in this mode of reflection. It’s odd. Despite how much I dislike saying goodbye, I also love how concentrated/focused on family time it gets whenever I return. It’s as if I leave learning a little more about what my parents lived through in their 20s and 30s and some revelations they’ve had in life.

Peterson noted how we go out on a journey, much like Pinocchio did. We enter the ‘real world’ and to some, the university is the first extension of this adventure. Some embark on a journey to learn more about themselves (without knowing they are) and become ‘troubled adults’. This is especially the case when one seeks out to lead a life following one’s bliss. Apparently, Jung believed the search to do work resembling ‘passion/mission’ will lead to more heartache instead of some defined place of bliss. This seems to make perfect sense because to be able to do something one loves is actually a very difficult thing and the journey in search of it should be extremely difficult.

I for one have never met anyone who does what they love (very few) whoever got there following the easy/obvious journey of study hard, good job, steady income, etc….. Most go through a ton of shit that most people will think is crazy. Such is the troubled existence of those who embark on the adventure like Pinocchio.

But when they return home, they default to the innocent/naive adolescents they were before embarking on the journey. This part of Peterson’s lecture left me thinking about whether I too defaulted to the adolescent before leaving for university.

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