“I don’t know”. I use this phrase countless times a day. It often comes up whenever someone asks what it is I want to do with my life, where I want to live, how I feel, what my plans are. Now that I notice it, it’s becoming hard to ignore, and I’m starting to believe that it’s all a charade, that maybe I do know, and that maybe I’ve known for a while now, but that I’m just avoiding acting, feeling, and living, in order to live a safe life. I can’t even call it easy or stress-free, as I think this indecision causes a great deal of stress and pain, and it’s all wrapped up in three simple words, “I don’t know”.
“Discomfort is the price of admission to a meaningful life” – Susan David
Upon reflection, I’ve spent the vast majority of my time “I-don’t-knowing”. Avoiding difficult conversations, avoiding pain, and saving myself from being fully present in my life. Retrospectively, that is a hard pill to swallow, that things could now be vastly different if I had trusted myself more. I mean, it’s easy to do, it’s a lot easier to coast in the I-don’t-know space free from responsibility instead of acknowledging the call to action. That call implies the ending of other chapters, relationships, ways of living, and embracing the struggle of progress and the vulnerability that goes with it. “I don’t know” allows freedom to keep doors open and offers a perpetual way out. The issue is that you can’t enter multiple doors at once, you just end up peeking from the hallway. An endless state of limbo. Nothing is ventured, therefore nothing is gained.
“There is no more miserable human being than one in whom nothing is habitual but indecision.” – William James
Deep down I do believe that in several aspects of my life, I do know what it is I want and in many ways that means taking the path less travelled, working things out for myself, and being fully to blame if it doesn’t work out. But at least I will have lived, loved, and pursued unrelentingly, without abandon.
So, it’s time to say “no” to things I feel I don’t want, and yes to things I actively avoid to avoid discomfort and maybe even ridicule, and yes to living my truth, or at least something which feels more like it.
The end of the great “I don’t know-ing”.
“Hard choices, easy life. Easy choices, hard life” – Stoic proverb