The year of questions

While 2013 ended up being my “year of mistakes,” I’ve come to realize that 2014 (for the most part) was a year of unanswered questions.

The other day I was reading an interview with Michael Douglas in Success Magazine. When asked about the difficulties in his life, he made reference to the “waves” one experiences throughout the years:

Things happen. When there’s a good wind behind you, sailing is a breeze. But how you conduct yourself during the difficult times is what’s really important. That’s what separates people.

He goes on to talk about how these “waves” typically come in sets of five and seven, and you ride them out until you’re fortunate enough to hit your next lull. But when those forces strike, most of us just try to fight like hell to stand up on our own two feet and not get pulled down by the undertow.

2014 hit me with many more waves than lulls, some much more defeating than others. And as the impatient 25 year old that I am, it’s tough for me to not have all of the answers to the big, resounding questions that fill up my mind – questions of love, loss and the lawlessness of life.

Does the timing of a situation really dictate its outcome as much as we tell ourselves that it does?

How do we balance the grief over those we’ve lost with the frustration of why they’re gone in the first place?

And at bottom, what do we do when honestly don’t know what to do?

My answer to almost anything i’m approached with in life is to follow my gut instinct. More often than not it has led me in the “right” direction. But as this new year begins, I’ll be honest – I’m a little lost, overwhelmed, exhausted and confused. I’m trying to find out what that right balance between logic and intuition is when making a decision, and it’s a learning curve that I didn’t anticipate being so big.

Yet somehow I have a strong faith that these waves will soon settle down and my lull will arrive. Until then, the best I can do – the best any of us can do – is to fight to stand up tall and do what we can to make the ride worthwhile.

Whether 2014 was the best year of your life or the worst, remember to be patient with yourself, because no one is immune to the highs and lows, they just hit us at different times. So instead of a New Year’s resolution, maybe just trust yourself enough to find your way to the answer you’re looking for.

“Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.”

― Rainer Maria Rilke


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