Anyone else afraid of the unknown? It’s not only uncomfortable, but it’s exhausting. Exhaustion from over-thinking about what happens next has always bogged my brain— and I’m exhausted, physically too.
Just because we are exhausted doesn’t mean life stops. The unknown has plenty to teach us. The unknowns of the world can be identified (but not limited to) as follows:
- Applying for a new job and enduring the interview process
- Attending a new school and interacting with new people
- Moving to a new neighborhood and getting to know a strange environment
- Going on a first date with nothing but the image of that person in your head
- Becoming a parent for the first time without ever having to care for anything other than yourself before
- Losing a loved one who has been your North Star and guidance for your entire life
- Being diagnosed with a disease you initially know nothing about that’s in a continuously progressive state
And yet, in unpacking all of our uncertainty there is one thing we know to be true: Change is the constant. Change is the only comfort we have. Change is the catalyst of the unknown. Change is our refuge.
But how do we cope? We begin by making the unknown essentially known. We must accept this change in real-time by continuing to swim in the rigorous upstreams of life, where many get left behind by simply staying still. I’m challenging you/myself to keep moving.
Let’s explore what moving really means inside my cooky little mind.
Sir Isaac Newton’s three laws of motion
First Rule: An object will remain at rest or in a uniform state of motion unless it’s state is changed by an external force.
According to me, the external force is the unknown. The one that’s really messing with our heads. We’ll start at rest (probably in our pjs waking up to a new day) and then life transforms one moment to the next. During that 24 hour window frame, we will find out our loved ones took their last breath to leave this world, while a child is birthed into this world. We will submit new job applications. We rent a U-Haul and begin packing for a move. We start getting ready for that first date. We start WebMDing while we wait for our diagnostic test results to come back. We don’t exactly know what comes next after these occur. There’s a world of unknowns that has just been placed at our doorstep. That damn external force.
Second Rule: Force is equal to the change in momentum (mass times velocity) over time. In other words, the rate of change is directly proportional to the amount of force applied.
The amount of unknown equals the amount of change that’s coming, and the rate of it. In mentioning all of the above in Newton’s first rule — it’s important to note this is the true vulnerability point. Will losing this loved one change the family dynamics? Will birthing a new baby force me to change my lifestyle? Will I get along with my new boss and work colleagues?Will I make new friends at my new school? Will I like the new town I am moving to? Will this first date turn out to be one with the love of my life? Am I really sick or will it pass?
Third Rule: For every action in nature there is an equal and opposite reaction.
At last, we know the truth. After the unknown becomes known. After the change has changed everything. For every action there is your reaction. What if that loved ones death caused even more harm than you could have ever imagined? What if that baby’s birth caused post-partom depression and a rift between you and your spouse? What if your new job is quickly becoming a nightmare? What if the house you moved in came with hidden repairs that were needed and you had to dish out thousands of dollars? What if you were bullied in that new school? What if your date was an asshole? What if you were diagnosed with an incurable disease?
Ready, set, reacton…
These moments will either defeat you or define you. You can choose what happens next. Your reaction will now set a chain of courses all led by results caused by change. These findings were once unknown to you, and you now know.
Will you be the one to bring your family together? Will you get the help you need for the sake of your child and your spouse? Will you take the proper financial steps in order to make those home repairs happen? Will you stand up to your bullies? Will you get back in the dating game and continue your quest for love? Will you become your own health advocate and properly care for your disease?
Thus, the unknown. Change won’t stop. Keep swimming.
Like my work? Donate a cup of 🍵