“There will always be more questions. Every answer leads to more questions. The only way to survive is to let some of them go.”
In a matter of a day, you have so many questions. These lingering questions can be simple. What will I have for breakfast? What time should I work out? When will the train arrive? Does my car have gas? And then there are questions that linger, that stay on our minds longer than we’d care to admit. Does he like me? Is this the right school for me? Should I buy a wedding ring? Is this true love? It’s an inescapable way of life – we have lingering questions, and we long for answers.
Last year, fall of 2018 to spring of 2019, was one of the hardest years I’ve ever experienced. It was because of question I had: where will I be in a year? The future seemed like this black hole. There was uncertainty in the air. My mind would circle back to this question in my Statistics class. I would be writing notes from the board, and the question would rise to the surface of my brain, like foam on freshly made coffee. It wasn’t like coffee, though. It was like a mosquito in the heat of summer, life-sucking and here to stay.
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Some questions are insignificant to our lives as a whole. Perhaps I decided to make eggs instead of waffles. So what if the car doesn’t have gas, and I need to stop by the gas station before work. All of us can agree that these answers aren’t life-changing. They are just small details in a larger picture of this insane thing we call life.
However, life can often feel marked by lingering questions we have all quietly suffered under. What if my mom doesn’t come out of surgery? Or what if my dad never comes back home? What if the love between two people I love most is broken? These thoughts can be traced to fear. In this fear, it’s easy to find ourselves going down a dark rabbit hole into a world that is larger than life. It’s easy to grasp around for answers – to go down Reddit threads and to call and text everyone you know for advice. We’ll even go as far as listening to the people who we’d swore we’d never go to – just to hear someone give us some comfort.
For me, that meant I legitimately asked everyone I knew what would be my best decision for college. I made a pros and cons list. I went on the internet everyday after school, scrolling on Quora, trying to find the simple solution to my problem. No wonder I had decision fatigue. I was too busy trying to fill my brain with the easy answers, instead of settling down to listen to myself.
With every season comes its fair share of stifling questions. And sometimes we get answers. I found out that I decided to go to UVA, and that’s still a decision I’m grappling with now. Maybe love is made new with simple gestures of kindness. Maybe love is born with a wedding ring for a very special day. Regardless, we can’t have all the answers. And that can be tough to admit. To admit that you’re unsure, to admit that you don’t know it all takes bravery.
But beyond that, let them go. The things that you worry about tend to work themselves out. Sometimes badly. Because you live and then you live some more. And in your living, you learn a little bit more about what it means to be human.
What are some lingering questions weigh you down? What do you do when you can’t something off your mind? Comment below! I’d love to hear from you.