I recently turned another round number. When I was a kid I was pretty certain I’d have things figured out by this round number. Aren’t adults supposed to just know stuff? I mean – my kids think I have the answer to *everything*. That probably has more to do with how much I tend to think that Google has the answer to everything.
Look at these clouds (above) that happened a few weeks ago. I have lived this many decades and had never seen clouds like that before. In fact, that particular night, it took us about 40 minutes to drive from one part of the city back to our house & I had to pull the car over several times to marvel 1) at the sky! 2) at all the things I just don’t know or understand!
My kids thought I’d lost my damn mind.
Now you’re curious – so I’ll tell you: these clouds are called Mammatus. They are an extension of cumulonimbus which is latin for heaping+storm cloud. Wikipedia says aviators are strongly cautioned to avoid them. Now you know.
That space between not knowing and knowing is one of my favorite things. Some people call it curiosity. At its peak its AWE. In practical application its that everyday process we call learning. You didn’t know or couldn’t do. Then you did something to address that (practice, research, listening to people who know, google) which adds up to all the things you know and can do.
I have been working on stretching out the pulse between not knowing and knowing. Because we live in the information age -where answers are instantly available- it feels like the expectation to know it all or do it all is speeding up. Because of this, it seems like perfectionism and shame are rampant. We are all supposed to stay on top of 24 hour news cycles, perfect nutrition, be at the top of our game professionally, financially, civically and interpersonally and to know and do ALL THE IMPORTANT THINGS.
Its not easy to sit in ignorance. Its even harder to admit when that is where we are. Its hard not knowing or actively managing for outcomes.
Today I’m giving you permission to not know anything. In fact, I’m actually prescribing that you try intentionally not knowing something and celebrating the millions and billions of unknown or unknowable things. All the things that humans didn’t know before they did. All the things we got wrong first and then learned to do better.
Get curious. Its okay to use the wrong words. Its perfectly fine to feel like you’re in the dark. You do not have to have all the answers today. You can just sit here for a few beats, put away your phone, your books, your plans, your need to get to the bottom of things and just wonder for a minute. Marvel at the sky. Ask bigger questions.
Tomorrow you can navigate them.