Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Make It Up As You Go

Make it up 
As you go 
Future's wide open 
Nothing's written in stone 

I can't tell you what's best 
I don't know what comes next 
All I know is that I don't know anything 
All I got is today, and I prefer it that way 
Make a plan, but I know it's gonna change 
And that's okay 

Lyrics by the Plain White T’s

I have been at war with the concept of “uncertainty” for most of my life.  I like the lyrics in the song above because it helps me on my journey of trying to make peace with wanting to know what is next or feeling the need to make things black or white.

There are a number of reasons why I am slowly, very slowly coming to see uncertainty as my acquaintance, not yet my friend, but at least not my enemy.

When I want certainty so badly, I shortcut life’s lessons.  Most of the time, it takes a while to let things play out.  When I do that, I have more information with which to work.  I have more clarity because decisions I think I need to make don’t even come to pass because things change as life unravels at its own pace.

It helps if I take things more slowly and not jump to a decision. It tends to feel more in alignment with who I am.  By not rushing things just to have that feeling of certainty, it allows my internal voice to speak more loudly and stand out against the noise of other’s advice and even my own inner critic. 

Also, I find that if I don’t feel such a desperate need for certainty, I don’t make assumptions that aren’t necessarily true or miss red flags all in the hopes of shortening the process and feeling I am in control.

So, I am trying the motto, “Make It Up as You Go”.  It’s not easy, but I have to admit I am beginning to enjoy it.  

I ask myself what experiences over the last couple of years have been most meaningful and most in alignment with who I am.  They have been those I didn’t see coming and that had no certainty in them.  In fact, I just made it up as I went along and stayed open to opportunities.  I let things take their time and I didn’t rush just so I would feel certain.

As 2013 comes to a close and the new year is around the corner, it seems to me interesting questions to ask ourselves are: “What if you were really comfortable with uncertainty?  How would that change your life?  What would you do differently?”

Happy Holidays!