Image credit: WallpaperCave
June 7th, 2020
I cried in the water today. Every time you get in the pool you run the risk of drowning. And the only way you know you won't is if you're on dry land.
I cried to my mom today. My brain crowded with syllables taking up too much space - DiseaseDeathSecondWaveProtestsKillingsWeightDiseaseDeath. Like maybe it would be safer if I just locked myself in my room and never came out.
I cried to God today, my whole body, muscle, skin, sinew and bone tensing, silently screaming why. Why are we dealing with a deck of cards that will never win? When will the game end?
There wasn't an answer, no burning bush and booming voice.
There wasn't even a still small whisper. But there was an afternoon.
I got iced coffee and my cousin took goofy pictures. I danced on the driveway, my bare feet singeing on the sizzling pavement. Although I felt a bit like I was being grilled each time I stepped outside, the sun did a great job of clearing away my inner storm.
And I felt like maybe this not knowing stuff is alright. Life goes on, doesn't it? Even when we don't have all the answers. Life is the answer in itself.
It's difficult to grapple with the idea that we'll never know everything. I'm the inquisitive type. I buzz with questions literally nobody can answer. I think I once asked my mom if we live in a simulation. And this was in 2007. Before memes like these:
Guys, I think 2020 is the simulation glitching (; We need an update, stat!
This episode of SciShow Pysch explains "humanity's deepest, darkest fear" is the unknown. Everything stems from it, from the phobia of snakes and the dark, to the more abstract fears of graduation, marriage, sickness or death.
I think that's why this pandemic is so gosh-darned difficult to live through. Nobody seems to know a thing!
When will schools open? I don't know.
How will schools open? I don't know.
When will they find a cure? I don't know.
Is it safe to go out now, or should we wait? I don't know.
And so forth. It's our greatest fear, the fear of not-knowing, in action. Live and full color HD!
Have you ever heard of the Uncanny Valley? It's a hypothesis formed in the 1970s by scientist Masahiro Mori. It's a chart that shows the more humanlike a robot or robotic character becomes, the more we empathize with them - to a certain point. When the robot becomes TOO human, we find it creepy or even revolting.
The Uncanny Valley freaks people out, and I think the reason why is the robots are unknown enough to scare us and un-nerve us, but not unknown enough that we think they're cute, like animals and such.
We're scared of the mysterious and hidden. This is why unsolved disappearances haunt us. When the person or the body is found, maybe we're sad, maybe we're happy, but we're not deeply afraid. But when someone is gone without a trace, we're chilled to the bone, because we don't know.
So what if we could confront that? What if we could all, collectively, stand up to our greatest fears?
Probably the most powerful thing I've heard in a while is that it's okay if you don't know 'the reason' for whatever tragedy you're going through.
Maybe there isn't even a reason to be found. Sometimes, things just happen. There's no big plan or purpose, they just are.
And sometimes, there is a purpose, but one we're not meant to know.
There's a strange peace in accepting that. It's kinda sorta lovely.
You don't have to spend your whole life searching for answers. If you find some, that's wonderful, but if you don't, it's okay, and you are too.
Life's a big grand mystery. That's part of the excitement. And yes, it can be terrifying. But that's okay too. Without experiencing the full spectrum of emotions, what's the point, anyway? We need life in every color. Even unknown.
So go ahead in hop into the water. Embrace the waves. You can't drown on dry land. But you also can't swim.
I'm going to end with a song I think everyone should listen to - as long as you're ok with 2 things:
There is one instance of cursing, and one brief mention of drug use. But I do think this song is admitting imperfection, which is what makes us human. It also carries a very important universal message, and explains what I'm trying to get across in this post better than I ever could. So as always, thank you Jon Bellion. Sometimes music speaks louder than words.
"I guess if I knew tomorrow I guess I wouldn't have faith
I guess if I never fell I guess I wouldn't need grace
I guess if I knew His plans, I guess He wouldn't be God
But maybe I don't know, and maybe that's okay."