That Time I Realized There’s Stuff I Don’t Know.

I need answers. To everything in life. And even when I don’t know, I feign the knowledge anyway because that’s a safer option than just conceding ignorance. It’s a Millennial mindset for sure, but it’s also enmeshed in the human condition.

Despite our fragilities and fallibilities, we take extreme measures to convince others—and ourselves—that we’re superior…smarter…self-sufficient…terminally unique.

That’s me on the outside. Or rather, what I aim to project. Always right. Always in control. Always prepared with a rapid-fire solution, justification or explanation. On the inside though, I know better.

Concealed beneath an I-got-this exterior, I’m fighting a current of unanswered questions, unresolved what ifs and unshakable insecurities. They ebb just below the surface of my impassive facade, but they’re more tangible—more real—than any plastered-on pretense I could offer the world. That’s an intimidating admission. But it’s also redeeming.

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I used to assume that logic and intellect were all I ever needed to survive. That if I could outsmart another person or outmaneuver a situation, I’d remain a step ahead of the wounds they might inflict. I’d be secure in my own detachment.

There’s one tactical error in this approach though—because outmaneuvering turns into overthinking. Which clouds judgment, aggravates stress and impedes taking action. Turns out, this negative cycle doesn’t make you a guru at life. Nope, it leaves you passive, anxious and still drowning in uncertainty.

So how does redemption fit into this equation? Well, there’s freedom in confessing  “I don’t know.” Acknowledging that perhaps there’s no formula, guidemap or eureka moment to make sense of the complexities which define our existence. That perhaps it’s acceptable—or…gasp…normal—to have no idea what we’re doing.

And perhaps the most we can require of ourselves is to navigate each crossroad one learning experience at a time.

Because answers are overrated.

But inquiring and investigating—now that’s the adventure.

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