Born To Be Wild
I used to consider myself anything but wild. Ever the good girl and overachiever growing up, I was a studious, busy kid, and besides a brief bad-boy stint in high school and some benign partying, I'm someone who has always known her limits, and for the most part, honored them.
But the more I explore this word and all it connotes, the more I let go of the cultural meaning of wild ( i.e. the pursuit of pleasure at all costs) and come back to the rooted, far more natural interpretation.
This process has led me to realize that I, in fact, am quite wild.
I'm wild because I care deeply about the phases of the moon.
I'm wild because I buy most of my food from farmers.
I'm wild because I grieve deeply and viscerally - and I allow myself a full expression of this sadness when needed.
I'm wild because I dedicate time and resources to connect to myself - be it through mental, physical, or spiritual pursuit.
I'm wild because I take naps during the day and honor my body's need for rest.
I'm wild because I value the wisdom of poetry over the fear-mongering of the media.
I'm wild because I say no to things that don't serve me, even when that means disappointing others.
I'm wild because I trust in the universe and the infinite plan for this place called earth.
I'm wild because I believe that each of our individual levels of happiness, joy, and enthusiasm matter tremendously in the future course of civilization.
I'm wild because I'm done complaining or worrying about the things I can't change in the present moment - like the weather, or the president, or what others think of me.
I'm wild because I love myself and my life unapologetically.
Merriam Webster's very first definition of the word "wild" is: living in a state of nature and not ordinarily tame or domesticated.
In this way, like the humble, spontaneous beauty of the wildflower, wild simply means growing according not to what is ordinary, but what is more fundamentally instinctive. It means breaking the rules and expectations of others for our own undomesticated and perhaps even uncharted future. Opening and expanding in a way that is organic, flows toward something sunny, and is the most natural and innate thing coded into our DNA.
Culture interrupts this wildness. With desks, and rows, and cubicles, and spreadsheets. And sure, there are reasons why things are put in certain places and categories. But there is also reason for some parts to break free - to tumble out of the confines and matrices of lines and roll in more circular patterns of growth, and change, and newness.
To be wild is to question why you're thinking/acting/doing/feeling what you're thinking/acting/doing/feeling. It is to challenge first all those rules, and lines, and patriarchies you have built (or accepted) inside yourself, and to find the thread of ancient wisdom that is longing for you to finally listen.
To be wild is to connect with that essence that is uniquely yours, as it fits quite perfectly into the nature of all things. To be wild is to trust yourself on this crazy adventure of life in a human body grounded in and aligned with the trust of mother earth.
I believe we are all born to be wild.
Are you heeding that birthright?
photography by Kristina Wingeier