Not knowing can be easy. Not knowing can be hard.

One of my most favorite carb binges is Trader Joe’s canned biscuits. They have been a staple around here for years and years. As much satisfaction I get from eating them, I might get even greater entertainment from watching Jim open them. He carefully peels the wrapping off and places it on the counter like a mini table cloth. He then gently finds the corner edge to peel down and winces. After knocking the edge of the can on the countertop several times to no avail, he stops to examine the dented can and then *POP* it bursts open in his hands and scares the bejezzus out of him. It’s become a hilarious ritual where he freaks out at the unpredictability of canned dough and I love him for it. The other night he looked at me before starting the process and said, “You know this is my greatest fear, right?” Ok, maybe not really, but the fear of the unkown, even when it’s as harmless as canned dough can certainly be unnerving.

***

When I was pregnant with Harper, we decided we were going to wait to find out if our little baby was a boy or a girl until she was born. This surprised a lot of our friends, especially because I tend to enjoy planning things, to a fault. Jim had really wanted to find out as soon as we could, but agreed to hold off, and by the end, agreed that waiting was one of life’s best surprises. I didn’t know if we would be buying suspenders or dresses and it didn’t matter to me. Shockingly, not knowing was easy.

***

Last week during a chat with my friend Lindsey we started talking about the future and the unknown and how it’s sometimes hard to be at peace with it. I later sent her this passage from Shakespeare in Love.

Philip Henslowe: Mr. Fennyman, allow me to explain about the theatre business. The natural condition is one of insurmountable obstacles on the road to imminent disaster. 
Hugh Fennyman: So what do we do? 
Philip Henslowe: Nothing. Strangely enough, it all turns out well. 
Hugh Fennyman: How? 
Philip Henslowe: I don’t know. It’s a mystery.

***

This decision – to clear my path and create my own journey – has been an adventure into the unknown. It has touched, affected, and changed my life, especially in areas I could have never planned for. I’m beginning to acknowledge that not knowing what’s next is easier to embrace when you are comfortable and happy with how far you’ve come and where you are. When I embrace the everyday and practice an attitude of appreciation, the fear seems to deflate.

We’re all so afraid of the unknown, but over time, it can prove to be as harmless as biscuit dough and the benefit can be yet another one of life’s great surprises. It has only been eight months of this new unknown post-corporate world for me, with many variables and opportunities. Mine is a choose your own adventure story that I’m taking one page at a time, and I know, strangely enough, it all turns out well.

One thought on “Not knowing can be easy. Not knowing can be hard.

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