I’ve recently had a few good reminders that I don’t know it all. I can’t do everything 100%. I have more to learn, more stretching, more strengthening and more growing to do.
At 35, I am young enough to still be considered young (particularly by my doctors or my children’s teachers) but I’m old enough and have lived enough… that I know I’m really a grown up now. Like for real. And as I’ve “grown up” and lived different life experiences (as an individual, a friend, a wife, a mother, a daughter, an employee, a boss, a colleague… etc.) I have also gained some measure of perspective and confidence.
I worry less (at least a little) what others think, I am becoming more and more sure of who I am, and more inclined to stand up for what I feel is right. I also, for whatever reason, actually feel more attractive and dareIsayit “sexy” than I did in my 20s (before 3 kids and stretchmarks and early white hairs and wrinkles…) when I really should have been like “damn, I look good!”. Go figure. Aint hindsight 20-20.
But; despite all I’ve learned, all the “tools” I’ve acquired to navigate through life’s ups and downs, successes and failures… and all the in between; I’m realizing more and more that life is rarely (if ever) a journey from point a to point b. One where you build up all the experience and knowledge and tools you’ll need to get to a specific destination; and if you do things just right, you’ll get there, safe and sound.
Life presents us with challenges. Sometimes because we’re looking for them (um, yes… I may be guilty of that!!)… but sometimes life just randomly throws us curve balls, bringing us to unexpected and unknown territory that brings us to a place of “not knowing” and insecurity. No matter how mature and confident we think we have become. No matter how equipped we think we are.
Whether it’s adjusting to a new job, or facing tests that add a tiny but ominous “what if” to every thought or conversation… or the brief experience of losing a child on the ski hill and choking back the tears at the fear and terror in their sobs when you find them. All different.But all real life moments of not knowing. Opportunities to learn, to stretch,to grow.
At such times, the friend or family member or colleague that listens, that cries with you, or laughs with you, those people that share, that care…. they are a breath of fresh air… a safe place… a boost of confidence… They encourage us to see beyond the uncertainty (big or small) or help us remember that we’ll grow from this,we’ll learn, we’ll adjust. And regardless, we’re not alone. We are… loved.
And so… despite not knowing everything or being equipped to deal with every possible situation or challenge… we are able to move one foot in front of the other, to feel our way, to figure out where the solid ground is. And move forward.
There is a strange beauty in not knowing – if not only for the familiar face and encouraging voices that come up alongside us to remind use we’re not alone.