How Will I Know?

Photo: The Long Road AheadIt makes me more than a little crazy when I’m faced with the unknown. That says a lot about me, admittedly, since life is a perpetual ocean of uncertainties and the impossible to predict. Nature abhors a vacuum, and human nature, the vacuum of uncertainty, with a special antipathy. My inclination is always to fill that void with speculation and guesswork, and when I’ve gone a few too many rounds with the same assumptions and fears doing their little hamster-wheel tumble through my brain, to pick them apart into a heap of worst-case scenarios.

I never know what’s truly in the moment ahead, let alone six months, years, or decades from now, but uncertainty still feels like something that comes in great cycles or waves in life. For a time, quotidian cares appearing to roll on in their expected way keep me distracted from unknowns; their seeming to pass at an almost stately pace in relative agreement with the calendar and my notion of order in the universe lulls me with its lapping, the ebb and flow of familiarity.

Then the next cycle begins.

When the time is most palpably uncertain and my path through it the most obscure, how will I—how can I—know the best response? Which way shall I go? What is the right way for me now; what will put me in the place where I can do and be my best self? I long for obvious Signs.

At my most lucid, I remember that every time I’ve landed in such privileged places of clarity, I was there before I’d ever quite wrestled out a reasoned decision. At its best, my life chooses me and puts me where I belong, ready or not, conscious of it or no. If that isn’t a sign, I don’t know what is. I’m just not clever enough to recognize the rightness of it except in retrospect.

But goodness is good, whether it comes and announces itself in a blaze of light when I open the front door or it sneaks up onto the back porch and makes itself at home in my life. Patience is a virtue that is mighty scarce in my itchy little soul, but I’ll give it a go as best I can. Meanwhile, I’m hanging out the Welcome sign on both entrances to my existence, just to be on the safe side.

Photo: Beware of Bad Dog

Yeah, I’ll need to paint this baby up right away! And the WELCOME, HAPPINESS, COME ON IN sign will neatly cover up the old scaredy-pants sign.

23 thoughts on “How Will I Know?

  1. This is the perfect blog for me to read right now….I am in a place of not knowing and have to keep reminding myself….that none of us is ever creative enough to know how things will actually work out…..and in the meantime, thoroughly enjoy the journey;) Have a wonderful

    • Why then, I wish you the perfect combination of insight and inspiration for finding your way, plus enjoyment of the journey! Much love, and may the magical hummingbirds lead you, in their dazzling dance, in exactly the right directions—for the weekend, and for life!

    • We’ll just have to keep holding each other up as we fumble along in the dark on our way! I’m glad to know that you understand. But then, you do that. You get me. 🙂 Thank you for the re-post! May the week ahead be a superb one for you, my dearest.
      ((( ❤ )))

  2. Great post, Kath! I am always trying to figure out the next best move in this game of life, unfortunately I won’d know if I’ve done it until long after the move takes place. I guess that God is working in me to learn what trust is.

    • You’d think after all of the twists and turns of life, we’d be better able to rest in that trust, wouldn’t you, but we never quite get it right! The perpetual struggle. But it’s some comfort, at least, to know I’m not alone in wondering and worrying over it and getting it wrong as often as I stumble in the right direction. 😉 Onward and upward!

  3. Wow, this runs right up my alley, Kathryn, but not in a happy way, I should add. Our daughter (23) has a rare disease which is slow progressing and will require a liver transplant for her survival. Not to bore you, but this news came to us two years ago and there is no concrete time frame. So talk about uncertainty! It lives with us now, in our home and in our hearts and it’s so hard not knowing what will happen.
    However, all sadness aside, her attitude is awesome; she’s fine, except for symptom visits/hospital stays and most importantly, her motto is “live in the here and now.” So that’s what we’re doing. We have to be strong for her, although, my hubby and I do have tearful slip-ups every now and then…anyhoo, sorry to dump this on you, but this is what came to mind after reading your wonderful post and love that photo, too! I hope you’re enjoying your Sunday. xoxo

    • My dearest, I certainly didn’t know. I will keep her and the rest of your family as much in my heart as I do you! As always, we dread answers that we don’t want, fear not having them, and long for happy outcomes. I will hope and pray that whatever comes, you will all be given great strength and peace to cope with it, and that in the meantime, no matter how often the perfectly understandable slip-ups occur, you’ll all quickly return to living and loving wholly and deeply in the here and now. Your daughter is clearly a beautiful offshoot of a strong and graceful family tree.
      Love beyond words,

      • Thanks, K, for all you said and for all your love and support. Again, I’m sorry for writing all this on your post, but it was wonderful and thought provoking and got me thinking. 🙂 Sending love and hugs for a happy Monday!

    • I was thinking even as I wrote this a few days ago that there are so many tougher and deeper mysteries than ‘what will happen at work tomorrow?’ or ‘will I *ever* finally master this frustrating skill I’ve been trying to learn?’—and your post about Oscar, of course, reminded me poignantly of how hard the waiting and wondering are. And, conversely, how hard the answers can be as well. I send you tender (((hugs))) and hopes that one of the unfolding answers for you will be comfort in knowing you gave Oscar such a grand life and a peaceful death, and are carrying the love forward with his grand-offspring. Wishing you well, lovely Lady!

    • In the grand scheme of things, I suspect there’s only a minute amount that we *do* know, but the things that are of particular interest to us will always chafe at our contentment, won’t they. 🙂

  4. The craving to know what we should do goes way back in human history. Think of all the irrational places people have looked for signs of the future: alignments of planets, entrails of animals, positions of tea leaves, etc. As has been said: the only certainty is uncertainty.

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