For the past five months I’ve had to become chummy with not knowing. It’s not an organically formed relationship. In fact, I’m making myself do it…kinda like when your parents made you play with their friends’ kids who came over because it would just be awkward and rude not to.
Parent: Chris, why don’t you go and play with Darla.
Me: (shakes head) Mmm-mm.
Parent: Go on now.
Me: I don’t wanna.
Parent: (sternly) Chris!
Me: (running out of room) I said NOOOOO!!
I did try resistance. Or, maybe it was more like pushing. In any case, it was forcing; not “letting go” or being easy with the unfolding of events. I wanted to know what was coming. I wanted to be prepared. I wanted to have more control. What resulted was frustration, anxiety, and fatigue.
It’s not easy living with “I don’t know” to questions like: What will you do for work once you’re in California? Are you really “back” now? How will you keep your marriage going long distance and how long is that for? Where do you see yourself five years from now? A year?
I’ve seen that look in the other person’s eyes as I try to explain why I am 39 years old and have lived at my parents’ for the last couple of months. And, that’s when I start wondering with them too: What is going on here?
The short answer: I don’t know.
Ok, then, what about this…what would happen if those words were viewed as tickets to freedom? What if that sentence was not covered in shameful vagueness but draped in patient curiosity? What if instead of screaming “NO!” I shouted, “Sure, let’s go play!”?
I’m trying to be friends with uncertainty. I’ll let you know how it turns out.