I want badly to have things neatly sorted out. To know. To have all questions answered, all of the time.
I can fight not knowing with lists and labels and categories — but rather than actually helping, maybe I’ll wind up stuck in perpetual fighting, which kind of (okay, really) sucks. What if I let myself be confused and not know and be messy now…and messy now…and messy now…?
My teen read my thoughts; here are some of her own on answers, knowing, and control.
Control, Confront, and Answers
My roommate recently shared a quote from one of her favorite bands: “Control what you can and confront what you can’t.” I really liked it.
She and I get along incredibly well because we tend to live in that space of overthinking that typically leads us to searching in hopes of attaining answers. While we worry about a lot, we are surprisingly ballsy in how straightforward we will be when we want answers, and believe me, we usually want answers.
Sometimes we want answers to questions that can be answered fairly easily but just require a bit of confidence to ask. Others, however, we feel cross an unspoken line to ask even though we may wish we could ask them more than anything. In these types of situations, I think it’s helpful to remember the message from that quote. No, you cannot control everything in life. Sometimes we may need to let things go and simply confront and come to terms with the fact that we cannot control everything.
I’ve seen problems arise when someone puts all of their energy into fighting something they have no real authority over. When this happens, they waste energy fighting, which typically doesn’t really benefit anyone, instead of using that energy towards something that could be more useful. I’m finding that life is not all about the perfect lists, perfect organization, nor perfect answers, but it is about figuring out what you can change and what you can’t (at least right now), and then not wasting energy on what you can’t.