October 16, 2016

Each Step is an Arrival: The Beauty in Not Knowing what’s Next.

Not for reuse


These days, we seem to suffer from a deep-seated fear of not knowing.

Not having an answer to “what’s next for you?” not having a five-year plan, and sometimes not even knowing what to write in the little box on the immigration card that asks what you do for work.

The other day someone asked me what I was up to, where I was going and what my plans were. I told them I quit a bunch of jobs, found some new remote ones and was going to Costa Rica until Christmas. And then it happened, the dreaded “And then what? What will you do?”

All I could do was smile.

“I have no f*cking clue!”

I saw the emotions wash over this person’s face, the fleeting moment of fear on my behalf, the even more minuscule feeling of superiority, for they had a plan themselves.

But I did something a lot of people don’t do—I told the truth.

I don’t know a whole lot outside of a few days from now. What I am realizing now, as I sit in a hostel bed in a new country with a new language and all new surroundings is that there is so much indescribable beauty in this.

There is beauty in the not-knowing. The in-betweens are destinations in and of themselves.

There is nothing wrong with not having that five-year plan, because even those who do will likely not follow it to a T. And this is okay, too. It’s okay to change your mind, it’s okay to quit your job to put yourself in new places and to stretch your comfort zone a little. It’s okay to start over with each sunrise, and let part of you drift into the earth with each sunset.

Reinventing is okay. Not knowing what life will look like tomorrow, next week, next year—this is more than okay. It leaves space for play, for creativity. It’s in this space where the magic of life happens. The epiphanies, the connections.

Yet we have learned to expertly block this out, to always have an answer to “what are you doing with your life,” and to always strive for the next step up that mountain we’ve confused with success.

We fear taking a step to the side, exploring a new path. What will our parents think? Our friends? Are we just fooling ourselves by surrendering to the unknown?

I don’t know much, but what I do know is that surrendering to the unknown will blast open our creativity, inspiration and life like nothing else. We do not have to be afraid. Choosing to be brave will not be free of challenges, but it will be full of surprises.

So when we feel afraid or anxious, we must connect back inwards.

Can we feel the steady rhythm of our heart?

Can we feel the ocean-like quality of our breath?

Can we feel how safe we are, right here, as we are?

There is not much else we need besides this calm, clear connection to ourselves. The unknown moments will never end, we will never really know.

Even with maps, GPS and our iPhones, we can never guess the exact terrain ahead. We are our own homes, so no matter what road lies before us, know that each step is an arrival.

We do not have to be afraid.

There is beauty, here, too.


Author: Annabelle Blythe

Image: Author’s own.

Editor: Nicole Cameron

Leave a Thoughtful Comment

Read 0 comments and reply

Top Contributors Latest

Annabelle Blythe  |  Contribution: 10,350