You know who Jane Goodall is, right? She has fancy words after her name, like primatologist and anthropologist – but what I bet you don’t know is what she was before her famous work with chimpanzees.
I know that I, personally, had no idea. I assumed that she went to school for such things, that she had been trained for many years before she went out into the field.
I was wrong. As it turns out, she had no degree at all. She was a secretary.
So how does a young woman end up studying chimpanzees in the wild, without ever having been a part of the scientific community?
Because she was in the right place at the right time.
How did she get there?
She had always been very passionate about animals, and went to visit a friend in Kenya. She ended up taking a job there in Kenya to work as a secretary. Eventually, she made an appointment with a man living in the area, Lewis Leakey, who was an archaeologist and paleontologist, simply to discuss animals.
What she didn’t know was that this appointment would alter the trajectory of her life. Leakey was putting together a study of primates, but he didn’t want anyone from the scientific community, because they brought along their “education” and preconceived scientific ideas.
He hired Jane to be his secretary, and asked if she would like to study chimpanzees in the wild.
This is the part where most of us would be like, “Well, you know, that sounds quite interesting, but honestly, it also sounds scary. I’ll pass.”
But not Jane. No, she accepted and dove straight into the assignment.
She made discoveries about primates that no one else could have imagined. She learned that chimpanzees use rudimentary tools, they have a society all their own, they are NOT vegetarians, and they can be quite brutal. All things that might have been overlooked by someone who already believed they “knew” what chimpanzees were like and how they behaved.
Jane is a prime example of saying yes to crazy opportunities that come your way, because you really don’t have any idea where they might take you.
Jane had the benefit of being a single young woman when she met Leakey – making it a whole lot easier to chase after her passions.
But can you see how her gentle meandering towards what she loved landed her in a place that opened doors that otherwise would never have been something she even dreamed of?
If you are a mom, I know that you might not feel like you have that freedom. I know that you also might feel like you aren’t even sure what your passion is anymore. You are too stuck in the overwhelm of every day life, and you really don’t know what you could or should do to get out of it.
I promise, there is a way out. In 6 weeks, I will teach you how to tame the chaos of everyday existence + give you a passion for life that comes from trying new things, making things with your hands, and visiting places you’ve never been… so you can start living a life you can’t wait to get out of bed for, every. single. day.