When I was a kid, back when adults were strange and boring beings, always sitting about and talking instead of running around, playing and having fun, I asked my dad what philosophy was. "It's when you ask questions like 'Why are we here?'" he explained. That's a silly question, I thought. I got here without anyone asking or explaining why, so what could it matter? It was a silly and also annoying question. It made me not much look forward to being an adult if that was the kind of thing they talked about. I would probably have been mortified to know that some thirty years later (the other day), I would have this conversation with Dad:
"What's it all about, Dad? Why do you think we're here?"
"Does there have to be a reason?"
"I guess not." I pondered. "But wouldn't it be awful if there was and we never even asked?"
He laughed and buttered some toast.
So, I'm still stuck with this blasted question and only a rough sketch of an answer, which I didn't even come up with. It was a teacher, on a school report. "Tania has not reached her potential." Annoyingly, this continues to be a problem. I think I'm here to reach my potential and I still haven't. Even a glimpse of it would be nice.
I mentioned this to my best friend while we were sitting about in the pub and talking. Although she is far too nice and considerate to use these specific words, I believe I can paraphrase what she said to "You're thinking too much," and I don't disagree. She is fully occupied with a gorgeous child, a husband, a house, a good job that she enjoys and I completely understand it if she, and indeed anyone, thinks that looking for an invisible and perhaps fictional concept such as 'potential' is a pointless and wasteful luxury.
On the other hand, it has led me to some very interesting things. So for now, I will leave you with a fruit of my, er, 'labour' which, hopefully, can show that this journey is not as miserable and pointless as it may well sound.