me carolyn, you jane.

One week ago yesterday, one of my many lifelong dreams came true! 

I got to meet my hero. JANE GOODALL!

Check! Scratch that one off the bucket list! I got to meet her at my alma mater, DePauw University, which made it even more special for me. Seeing one of my idols in a familiar, wonderful place like DePauw was just too much. 

Here are some of the highlights:

1. I got to speak to her! Yes, I waited for an hour. And I’m sure she was super tired. And she probably didn’t want to talk to one more single person. But this was my one shot so I had to take it. I told her that she has inspired my whole life and career and has always been my hero and I thanked her for all of the work that she’s done.

I don’t say this lightly. I was the kid that did all of my school reports on Jane Goodall. I put on a safari hat and dressed up like Jane Goodall for “hero day” in fourth grade. I’ve read her 600 page biography. For real. My whole life. My whole career. Inspired by this woman. 

2. I got a picture with her! Stalkerish? Perhaps. But I’ll treasure it forever. The phone version is below! 

3. She really is as wonderful as you would hope Jane Goodall would be. She is soft spoken, kind, courteous to everyone around her. And her message about caring for animals, people and our planet is just what I needed to hear after a week of marathon bombings/explosions/shot down gun legislation. We need more Jane Goodalls in our world right now, that is for sure. 

4. I just need to point something out. The woman is 79 years old. 79. She spoke that evening for over an hour without notes.  None. She is an incredible storyteller. She also mentioned that she has not spent more than three weeks in one place since 1986! And she is 79 YEARS OLD! She truly is a heart on fire who believes in her message and her dedication shows through her amazing stamina and energy. I can only pray to live with such vitality when I am that old. 

5. I got to experience the evening with my Dad, my good DePauw/Zoo friend Sarah and Zoo friends Brandon, Lisa and Jon. And we got GCBs after. What a night. 

All in all I left Greencastle with a renewed sense of purpose for not only my work at the Zoo, but also for work with the Bubbles book and this website. Jane is just simply that inspiring. 

I’ll cross that one off of my bucket list! Now on to climbing Mt. Everest…right?