Lessons from a Sloth

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Ah, the noble sloth. Leaf connoisseur, lethargic denizen of the trees, midwife of Cryptoses choloepi. There are many lessons to be learned from this majestic animal. A sloth lives most of its life in isolation, expending as little energy as possible, coming down from its tree only to poop, and, when they feel like getting a bit of action, a female sloth will scream incessantly until she attracts the attention of a male. So, basically the animal version of an introvert, only with more algae.

Lately I’ve been struggling with the fact that my life (read: the journey towards what I want my life to be) seems to be moving at a sloth’s pace. I’ve had to postpone my studying for another year, which means another year of working increasingly shitty part-time jobs with and for people who seem to be getting increasingly younger while I get increasingly older and my reasons for not having a full-time, grown-up job get increasingly thinner. I see my friends moving on with their lives, moving overseas, getting paid to do what they love, accelerating away from me while I’m stuck chewing leaves in the same place I’ve been for the last three years, and it scares me. I feel like the only sloth in a forest full of birds. I want to fly…

But sloths have value too. They move so slowly that algae grows in their fur; this feeds a variety of moth that lives exclusively in the sloth’s pelt. When they make their weekly journey to the forest floor, those moths are shaken loose and lay the next generation of eggs in the sloth’s droppings. And those droppings nourish the tree in which the sloth, with its algae and its moths, makes its home. The sloth is its own perfect ecosystem.

So I guess it’s not such a bad life after all. I will get to where I want to be, just…

Slowly.

And that’s ok.

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Click here to support the Sloth Sanctuary in Costa Rica.

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