Me: “I’m not sure what I want to do when I grow up.”
Friend: “Did it ever occur to you that you’re already grown up?”
Me: “No. Not really. Yikes!” (“Yikes”—or maybe something a little stronger.)
That conversation happened quite a few years ago, but it’s stuck with me. After all these years, I probably should feel a little more grown up. But I’m not even sure what that means. When I was little, I assumed that I would know stuff when I grew up. That if I worked hard enough, got good grades in school, and behaved well, I’d get it all figured out and be right.
It didn’t exactly turn out that way. I did work hard, got fairly good grades, mostly behaved well—and I’m still trying to figure stuff out. And, while I really like to be right, I reserve the right to be wrong. Somewhere along the way, I’ve gotten a bit more used to being wrong, to not knowing, to living with the mysteries and the questions.
I definitely have opinions. And ideas, and even some certainties. And lots of questions. Isn’t it nice to have questions? Imagine how boring it would be if we already knew all the answers.
Thomas Leonard said that he sometimes asked clients if they’d ever considered the possibility of having a problem free life. Most people think that would be boring. I’m not so sure. It might just be possible that if we actually were problem free, we could still stay curious, still enjoy wondering.
Here in the United States, it’s Labor Day. Wherever you are, I hope there’s some time in your day when you don’t have to labor. That you’re free to enjoy, maybe even ask some questions, and wonder.