We humans often talk about fear of the unknown. We cower together at the idea of uncertainty, the reality of roads unseen. Change looms and we know this, but we are afraid of its implications. Who will we be? Where will we be? What we life be?
Abstract enough for you? I have a point. (I think.)
My littlest Sister T moved to Chicago this past Monday. She moved there without much of a plan. No job. No roommate. She just went, seeking to shift things up. Now, it is worth reminding you all that T is no slouch. The kid graduated from Yale last May at the tippy-top of her class with a GPA that would make you cry. I do not tell you this to brag, but to tell you that her future? It's undeniably bright. (I also tell you this to brag, I guess. Hey, I'm proud.)
Anyway. The point here is that she has no idea what her life will look like. Where will she work? Whom will she date? How will she spend her time? Will she meet a gorgeous stranger at 1am at darkened bar? Will she fall in love with a career she never dreamed about before? Will she take in the Chicago fall air and never turn back? I don't know. She doesn't either.
I know she is a little scared. A bit fearful of the unknown. This makes perfect sense. If she weren't a bit anxious about the unfolding of her life, I'd be worried. But I think, I know, she's also really excited. To walk out into her life. To putter around the real world, a world beyond Ivy. To see who it is she becomes.
And I am excited, too. To watch her fumble and stumble into her own happiness. To witness her evolution. To see her grow.
And, if we are being really honest here, I am a tad envious. She has so many big things ahead of her. I think I might just have to live vicariously. Nothing wrong with that.
Because me? I'm ten years ahead of her in this game of life. A full decade. My life is very different from hers, its contours more fixed, its contents more defined. I am a wife and a mother. I have a home. I have a professional passion. And these are exquisite things I would never ever trade, but they are also known. I have a good sense of what my life will look like in one year, five years, ten. The biggest uncertainty for me right now is whether I will have another girl or a boy this spring. I find out in two weeks and I can't wait! But then again, I can wait. Because once I find out, I will know.
I guess you could say I have a fear of the known. A fear that it is all mapped out, my life's landscape, and that it's my job to just live within the boundaries. But even as I write this, I chide myself for my simplistic thinking. Life is never known. We can plan and plot, but things are never fixed, never firm. Change always lingers. Surprise always looms.
We never know entirely, do we?
This is scary. This is good.
T, I am so so proud of you. I can't wait to watch your adventures from afar. And I can't wait to come visit next month! Love you.
- Are you afraid of the unknown?
- Are you afraid of the known?
- Do you think at any given point in life we are afraid of one or the other?
- Which city do you like better - Chicago or New York?
- Any words of wisdom for T as she sets out on her life adventure?
A final plea. If you haven't yet, please click HERE to vote for Life After Yes as SheKnows final book club pick of the year! Your support thus far has been incredible! This will be the last time I beg. Promise :)