Today, I woke up with sweaty palms and a racing heart. I was practically jolted into the day by my dear old “friend,” anxiety.
I hate starting the day like this.
But, I still tried to see the beauty in my frazzled, frenzied state. There were so many levels and layers of feeling in my experience.
I felt so painfully in touch with the fact that so much in life is unknown.
I felt so f*cking angry because I wanted all the answers. Now. Immediately. As soon as freaking possible.
I felt tired of walking around life with a blindfold, only sometimes peaking at the truth, existing mostly in the dark.
It’s this darkness that is most scary and unappealing.
Can’t I schedule a day in my precious calendar where all of life’s mysterious workings are revealed to me? Can’t I crunch the numbers and find the answers in my iPhone calculator?
After a sad amount of attempts at the latter, I have realized it doesn’t quite work this way.
The past year of my life has been an experiment with falling and seeing what would happen. With failing and seeing what would happen.
Would life catch me?
It always did.
But there is something about this that still baffles me, confuses me, concerns me. There is a part of me that does not fully believe it.
During my wild ride over the past twelve months, I have come face-to-face with the great and mysterious unknown countless times. Even after realizing it doesn’t have to be ominous and scary, I just can’t shake the feeling that there is some sinister quality lurking quietly beneath the surface.
Is there something I’m missing? That alone is such a scary thought.
The pain of not knowing can be a weird driving force in our minds, emotions and lives.
It can be an enormous source of anxiety, too.
Sometimes it just feels like we can’t be okay right now because we don’t know what tomorrow will be like. Because we don’t know what the next moment will be like. Because we don’t know what the next second will be like.
Ahhhh! This limitless lack of control haunts me.
My fear of the unknown has, for the past year, cut right through me, like a freshly sharpened knife.
I ran everywhere I could think of to get away from it. But, it’s a smart little f*cker and, like a relentless stalker, it followed me far and wide. I really thought I could hide…
Yeah…not so much.
Funny (well, only retrospectively) how in running away, I only got closer to the unknown.
I moved to a city where I didn’t know anyone, started jobs I had no idea how to do, and put myself out there creatively, I saw time and time again that everything unfamiliar and unknown always works out okay.
I have seen that when I fall, life will catch me: sometimes not in the way I’m expecting, but always in the way I’m needing.
It is so incredibly hard to trust this. To trust life. To trust that things are okay. That I am okay.
The idea just won’t take root in my heart. My sensitive and suspicious heart that has all-too-many times been bruised and taken advantage of by the harshness of life.
When we’ve been hurt a lot, it can be especially hard to face the unknown because it can truly feel unsafe. It can bring up so much grief, even to just think about trying to trust life.
Isn’t it strange how we go through our days? Feeling both blindfolded as well as seeing everything through the small slits of suspicious eyes.
After a year of such unsettledness, after seeing how life supports me, I have not learned to love or respect the unknown.
I still hate it.
I’m still scared of it.
How can we learn to embrace the thing we hate most of all? How can we learn to embrace the great unknown?
I don’t know.
But, somehow just saying that I don’t have the answer brings me a refreshing sense of hope and ease.
And, this seems like the perfect place to start.
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Editor: Emily Bartran
Photo: Julian Povey/Flickr