It’s not surprising that certainty is a big theme for me…it makes total sense given the fact that there weren’t a lot of things I could count on as a kid. I never knew if my mother was going to be drunk or sober when I got home from school. I never knew how long I’d be living in the same place. And after I was placed into foster care, I never knew if the family would keep me.
In order to feel any sense of certainty, I had to be resourceful and create it for myself. So I devised routines and rituals for myself; little things like arranging the bedroom I shared with my brother a certain way, setting my place at the table with my favorite fork, and wearing the sweater my grandmother gave me with the same pair of jeans. Those seemingly insignificant things (that I’ve come to recognize as slightly OCD) kept me going. They allowed me to keep moving forward.
I realized that these days, I’m not so resourceful. I get stuck, and can easily let uncertainty force me into a state of inertia.
Inertia: the resistance an object has to a change in it’s state of motion.
But here’s the thing: If we’re guaranteed anything in life, it’s that there will be thousands of moments of uncertainty. Big moments, and little moments. And try as I might to plot, and plan, and test things out so I know exactly what to expect, sometimes it will be all in vain.
What I figured out though, is that as long as I move forward in the face of uncertainty, I can’t lose. Will I mess up? Sure. Make mistakes? Yep. Need to change course from time to time? Absolutely.
Despite all of that, moving forward will always get me somewhere faster than standing still.