Finding Beauty in the Unknown

So many things in life are planned to the T.  From the specific minute your flight takes off to your assigned seat in grade school (next to that really annoying kid, of course), the moment the post office opens to the second tickets go on sale for your favorite band.  And as Americans, we pride ourselves in this efficiency and specificity.  But at the same time, we lose our minds when our order takes too long to arrive, when the bus runs late, when the car in front of you doesn’t take off the moment the light turns green.  And while these may be seemingly insignificant events, we ultimately set ourselves up for failure with this outlook on life: for everything to have an exact place at a specific time for a certain duration.  No questions asked.Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

We ask 16 year-olds to know what they want to be for the next 50 years of their life.  College runs on 8 semester schedules a student should know before they even step foot on campus for the first time.  Planners, calendars and sticky notes keep our minds on task.  And where would we be without iPhone alarms?  Our lives revolve around acceptance letters and resumes.  And before you know it, you’re downright exhausted, and that doesn’t even account for the times life throws a curveball.

The moment a wrench is hurled into our plans, we freak.  When we go into college as “undecided,” when we graduate without a job, when we quit our job and don’t have one waiting, when our relationship status is complicated, when we’re waiting, when we’re unsure…  It’s as if we’re a failure that our life didn’t go according to plan or that we don’t have one period.  I long for the day when the unknown is seen as beautiful, exciting and adventurous, not daunting, unfortunate and terrifying.  Version 2

Unknown equates to the possibility of failure, loneliness, a broken heart, pain.  But what if we looked at the unknown as the possibility of adventure, growth, a new opportunity, happiness?  I may be pursuing my passion for writing and the French language, but if I’m being honest, I have literally no idea where I’ll be in five years.  Midwest or big city?  In a relationship or riding solo?  Blogging as a hobby or a career?  Maybe I’ll write a book.  Perhaps I’ll go back to school.  Heck, maybe I’ll move to Europe with my French husband (ahem, this is all hypothetical).

I have no idea.  And honestly, it exhilarates me.  I could do really anything or everything.  I highly doubt I’ll have only one job at a certain company for my entire career.  I know too many people in life who become paralyzed at not knowing what the future holds.  But it can be the most elating feeling if you approach it in the right light.  Because you don’t want to live at home and be ringing up graphic tees or fried foods for a living till you’re 30.  I’m definitely not always calm (ask ANYONE who knows me) and certainly don’t have my life together, but here’s how I choose to see the unknown as a beautiful thing:Processed with VSCO with p5 preset

Focus on your passions and interests.

I find my energy from investing in friendships.  The rush that overwhelms me when I write is unlike anything else in life.  The excitement I find through the French language is inexplicable.  Each day I focus on growing in these areas, but the buck stops when I put pressure on myself for these things to be my life.  Learning to do what you love and actually loving it is an art.  My current life motto and something I repeatedly tell myself is to live day by day.  Focus on today.  Stop thinking and worrying about tomorrow.  Just do today.  You may love art but aren’t sure you can make a career out of it.  You might wonder how long this relationship is going to last.  You may be in a time of waiting and uncertainty.  It’s important to be realistic, but it’s also important to savor the moments and grow as a person—whether or not it’s so-called practical.Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

Remember to be flexible.

I’m guiltier than anyone when it comes to planning ahead because most people don’t start planning their birthday parties seven months in advance.  Or just look up train schedules and flights for trips that aren’t even in existence.  And this whole post is not about telling you to go willy nilly and never plan a day in your life.  The most important thing is flexibility, which is so-so simple but so-so not easy.  I’m psyched for my upcoming trip to Europe, and, of course, I have a Pinterest board of places I’d like to visit on the weekends.  But at the same time, I have no idea of what my schedule will look like or if these are even a possibility.  Also, money is really helpful when you want to buy things, so I’ll need more of that (!!).  At the end of the day, goals and dreams are so important, but keep reality in check.  I’d like to do this or go here or see that, but I’m not going to let my world revolve around this possibility.  In a few short months, I’ll be boarding a plane to the other side of the world for three whole months where I know no one.  If I think about it long enough, it starts to scare me.  But at the same time, I lose sleep over being so excited at what this summer may possibly hold.  Thinking of every single thing that could go wrong (or just not the way you prefer) provides no benefit and drains you.  columbia-mo-round-trip-travel

The unknown can be scary, but when you have a direction and allow yourself to drift from the trail at times, it can be an adventure.  And this journey is often better than anything you could’ve ever planned for yourself.

Bises,

Kristin

{How do you handle the fear of the unknown?}

5 comments

  1. Agree, focus on today, we don’t know how long we going to breath, in uncertainty world, we try to find our spot. I never dream of travel or even start a blog, I dont know how to get followers on Instagram until suddenly I hv 4k followers, we don’t know tomorrow, as we have to do our best today.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hello. Fantastic writing, and a really refreshing blog post 🙂 I am a planner and also flexible – I think! Much of my life has been planned, but some of the most life changing things that have happened to me were because of something that happened that I hadn’t planned for. For example, when i was living in England I was in a long-term relationship (nearly 7 years). I had kind of lost my personality, and I think i had lost my ambition too. Anyway, he broke up the relationship. We didn’t fight or argue, and still loved each other, but things just weren’t right. I have since thanked him for this. If it hadn’t been for him splitting up with me, i would probably be still in the same city, doing a job I didn’t enjoy. instead, i got my confidence back. I went to night school to study, and met some new friends. i also met a guy who i later started to go out with. It was an exciting time. During this year, i also decided I wanted to see more of the world, and to live in a different country. I am a teacher, and that April I applied for jobs all over the world, and left it to fate as to where i would go!! I accepted the first job i got an interview for, and lived in Valencia, Spain for one year. Then I went to live in China, Thailand, and am now back in Spain in Madrid. So thanks to my ex-boyfriend breaking up with me many many years ago now, i have done things that I never would have dreamed of!
    Now, I have recently had a health problem that was completely out of the blue, and is surely going to be life-changing for me…..But I hope that some good will come out of it…Well, it already has i guess, as I am now a blogger 😉 Take care, and enjoy the travel!! Carly

    Liked by 2 people

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