The only thing I know is that I know nothing.
Words by Greek philosopher Socrate.
I learn new things everyday. About myself. About the world around me. That knowledge makes me feel more confident about my place in the world. A confidence that is usually short lived.
Everything is constantly changing.
I can’t say I am not scared of change. I learnt to welcome it, to make space for it in myself and in my relationships. But it still comes with its fair share of anxiety. No matter what I think or say or do, there is always the chance that it might change the next day or, more likely, in the next few years. And, these days, change appears soon after I utter the words « I want. » Almost to the point where I dread thinking them, since all those « wants » turn into « how ? » And I don’t know the answer to that question.
I know what I want but I don’t know how I want it.
I want a commited, loving relationship with my partner. How ? Commitment is more than just words exchanged verbally or on paper. But what is it for me ? How do I accomplish that ? How does love works for me ? How do I grow a relationship that feels healthy for me ? Communication, respect, trust, yes, but what happens beyond that ? How different is love from one person to another ? I don’t know. I’m learning.
I want to make a career with words. How ? Studying in litterature is as good a guess as I have to begin with. It’ll surely broaden my horizons rather than staying on the narrow path of « novelist » that has been suffocating me for years. And then what ? Where will I work ? What kind of job will I have ? Will I remain in the country ? Will I spend my time reading or writing ? Will I be able to do everything I want to do ? I don’t know. I’m learning.
Socrate said he knew only one thing. I believe he knew two. He also knew he wanted to find the truth, to the point where he invented a way that would enable him to find the weaknesses in other people’s arguments, the lies people told themselves and others, so truth would not escape him if he ever found it. He wanted the truth but he didn’t know what form that truth would take, nor how it would appear in front of him. The only truth he knew was that he knew nothing. He hoped to find more, despite the many failures on his way.
Samuel Beckett later put it another way :
Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.
Change comes with failure. Not knowing what to do, where to go. Trying again anyway. I will surely fail a lot on my way to get what I want because I don’t know how I want it. Relationships. Writing. My future. I don’t know. I’ll learn. I’ll fail better. In the meantime, I know that I don’t know. That’s a good place to start.