I’ve been told that I ask a lot of questions. Whenever I meet someone, I’ll ask them about their life and their passions; small talk is boring and I like to get to know people. When friends are telling me stories or talking about their problems I’ll ask about how they felt, what they experienced, etc. so I can truly understand what they’re saying. I like to know things. But no matter how many questions I ask or how many things I try to learn about others, life itself doesn’t always work that way.
If something happens to me, I want to know why. If there’s something I want to do, I want to know how and when. I have this incessant need to know what’s going on around me and what’s going to happen at all times and while I always saw that as a good way to keep tabs and maintain control over my life, I’m beginning to see how much of a burden it can be. The need to know everything is not only exhausting, but it’s absolutely impossible. People can say that sometimes “ignorance is bliss” and that’s great and all, but other times ignorance can drive you absolutely bat-shit crazy and that’s not always easy to deal with.
But sometimes I just don’t know. I don’t have a clear vision of what my future will look like. I don’t know how I’m going to do on an exam or a presentation or an interview. I don’t know why someone did what they did. I just. don’t. know. And nothing infuriates me more than that, but I’m learning.
I’m learning because I can’t practice faith without the not knowing.
I’m learning because I can’t know everything and still celebrate the little surprises in life.
I’m learning because I can’t grow from mistakes or pain if I know enough about my life to avoid them.
I’m learning to be okay with the unknown and just live in the now. Sometimes overthinking and over-analyzing who I am, what I’m doing, or what I’m going through won’t lead to better answers or any sort of closure, it’ll just lead to more confusion and self-doubt.
So, like Jon Bellion once said, “maybe I don’t know, but maybe that’s okay.”
*featured photo by @navetography on instagram
I’m not sure what’s in the air lately, but I have a lot of friends who are going through the most extreme parts of life and experiencing things in highs and lows with no middle ground. Be it marriage or heartbreak, love or loss, loneliness or fulfillment, everyone I know seems to be experiencing so much. Once is a coincidence. Twice is a coincidence. But three times is a pattern. And this summer seems to have a pattern of extreme emotions.
I love to listen to podcasts to hear what other people have to say about life. One of my favorite podcasts to listen to is called “Ladies Who Lunch” (LWL) and while they’re no longer recording anything, I still listen to their old episodes somewhat frequently. A few weeks ago while I was donating plasma I turned on one of their episodes in which they talked about moving on and letting go and, while they said a lot of really great things, there was one thing in particular that stood out to me. They got a letter from someone whose father had passed away less than a week before, and the person in the letter was asking how they can move on from the hurt they were feeling. LWL gave the typical responses of surrounding yourself with friends and family who love you, doing things to keep yourself busy, etc. But after giving all of those suggestions they stopped for a second to let the person know that it’s okay to simply feel, and something about that really resonated with me.
Throughout the summer as I’ve watched my friends go through all different emotions (or even experienced them myself) I’ve noticed how we’re always trying to move on to the next emotion. If we’re sad, we want to stop being sad and feel something else. If we’re happy, we’re questioning our happiness and anticipating something else. Very rarely (particularly in moments of negative emotions) do we just let ourselves feel. I think this lack of accepting our emotions is another byproduct of our need to constantly desire more. But I also think it’s time for that to change.
If you’re sad, be sad. Let yourself feel. Let yourself hurt. Go through the motions and roll with the punches. I’m not saying you should wallow in self pity and go about life feeling miserable forever, but what I am saying is that sometimes it’s harder to move on from an emotion if you don’t fully understand what you’re feeling. Get comfortable with the pain so you know how to work through it. When you break a bone, you don’t just ignore it and hope it works itself out. You straighten the bone and look at x-rays and wrap it up in bandages and casts which will be full of pain and annoyance but by doing this, you’re understanding the injury so you can enhance the healing. You have to allow yourself to feel your hurt to understand it, and once you understand it you can heal from it.
The same goes for positive emotions. Stop questioning the way you’re feeling. Stop thinking the higher you go, the further you fall. Stop falling in love only thinking about the potential heartbreak. Stop feeling joy only thinking about the potential sorrow. Let yourself feel good. Even if the worst thing happens, at least you were able to truly enjoy some of the best parts of life.
We need to stop fighting things. Time is always on your side and it will keep moving even when you think you can’t, so it’s high time you just roll with the punches and enjoy the ride.