Questions. We asked too many of them when we were little. Our parents asked too many of them when we were in college. And now, they stand as annoying reminders that sometimes, we just don’t have all the answers.
Life as a 20-something is full of questions. Many of them trivial: “Does this cosmopolitan match my shoes?”
Many of them are more complex. We thrive most when we believe we have the right answers. If we choose “A” and actually make it to “B,” then we are a success. If we choose “A” and “B” never shows up, we are wrong. Is this really how life works now? Is everything so finite and factual that there is only one real, right choice? Alert: scribbling outside the lines has now become a major faux pas.
This got me to thinking: Second-guessing is our human addiction. When we were younger, it was about questioning our role in a group, or wondering if we were doing enough to get ahead and make it to adulthood. And although our increase in age is supposed to bring us an increase in security, the gnawing feeling of needing an answer never really leaves us.
Only now, we worry about how quickly we can accomplish everything in comparison to others our same age. College? Check. More schooling? Check. Flourishing friendships? Check. Glamorous job? Check. On and on until we have enough checks to make us feel like we are thriving, to make us certain we have as much success as our friends, siblings, or the person we haven’t seen since high school but still secretly wish we could emulate . Like it or not, the world is full of comparison, status and standards. Many of us cannot help but think… how do I measure up? How do I know when I have found the right answer?
The truth? We don’t. To question who we are is to improve who we end up becoming. But to pressure ourselves into thinking we should control all, or know all or be all – these are lies disguised as ourselves.
In the end, maybe we secretly don’t want “A” to take us to “B.” Maybe the off-road adventure is the part we were meant to experience. Maybe the mistakes are what make us better. Maybe trying to be right is what leads us to be wrong in the first place.
Maybe we live for the things we are certain we know. But maybe we resolve to keep living for the things we’ll never know at all.