To know or not to know?

I’m up since half past 7 this morning. I couldn’t fall asleep until some time past 3am. And I haven’t slept more than 4-5 hours a night since Friday. This all results in today’s being a somewhat short and reflective blog post.
And to answer your emerging question: “Could you be any more vague, Estrella?” – Maybe not, but just go with it please, as I’m writing this for myself more than anything.
To somewhat clear the inner clutter even though this is bigger than the usual inner clutter.

For the past few days I’ve been constantly thinking of a question I’ve been asking myself for around 9 years now.
I’ve been trying to come up with an answer. An answer I like. Or at least one that I can live with.

“Is it better to know (something) for sure, or not to know?”

Is it better to know something for sure? To have absolutely no room for doubt? To be forced to deal with the reality of the answer?
Or is it better not to know? To be able to harbor a small grain of hope in your heart? To be at least a little bit positive and think that maybe everything is alright? To imagine a world where things will someday fall back into place?

Well, I finally found out after all this time. I now know that something. It will probably only be around Wednesday or even a few days later than that to have confirmation and be 100% sure. And yet, I don’t really know where to go from here… Of course, first I have to wait and see what I’ll find out. But then what?

Maybe the only good enough answer is that – just like a rollercoaster ride, you can not (ever) fully imagine the ups and downs of knowing the answer.
And there are no two roller coasters the same.

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16 Comments to “To know or not to know?”

  1. I’d say it is better to know, because left to its own, the mind tends to come up with all kinds of horror stories, most of which are far beyond anything reality could cook up. Plus knowing stuff makes it possible to deal with stuff – make arrangements and such.

    I hope everything is okay with you!

    • Given my circumstances, and it’s probably the eternal optimist in me (who even knew I had her?), but unfortunately the mind didn’t come up with anything more horrible… I could’ve at least been relieved if that was the case.
      But I do agree that it is now possible to deal with the stuff, which is probably best. It will be best in the long run.

      I’ll be fine in time, thank you for being so kind, Diandra!

  2. I agree with Diandra. It is better to know. My whole life, my career, my marriage, my child, my everything….was all about truth and knowing what is real. I am not comfortable not knowing. I want to look at the pilot of my plane to know he’s not 21, but rather 60 with thousands of flying hours. I want to know lab values and diagnoses to understand what I’m working with. I want to know that my husband is loyal and honest with me. I want to know where I am, who I am, why I am here, and where I am going. Of course, some of my life can not be known. Bad things happen. But because I know certain things, I deal with them, and life goes on.

    Now, you’re not sick are you? Please tell you you’re ok. Patsye

    • Maybe I’ll tell you in a while what the question and answer was. But it wasn’t as straight forward as what your comment. I love your comment anyway, especially because it reminds me of the things that I know and which are there to help certain things be dealt with and let go of eventually.

      And no, no worries, I’m not sick or anything. Thank you for being such a great friend!

  3. I tend to drive myself crazy when I play the “what if” game with myself. In my opinion it is much better to know for sure. Good luck later this week! :)

  4. I’ve been in the same kind of waiting – and it lasted nine years. Eventually, I threw myself at the situation so hard it rendered up the answer. And the answer was no. I cried until I thought I would melt away from all that crying. And then I burnt the evidence. I literally put all the papers in the fireplace and said goodbye to that dream.

    That was in 1996. Life went on. I even moved to another country. And the answer doesn’t even matter to me anymore. But at the time it was so huge I felt it would swallow me.

    I hope you find peace, Estrella. I found that once I knew, the pain was harsh for several months. But then I was able to let go.

    (This is probably nothing like your situation but what you wrote reminded me of a certain time in my life.)

    • That’s exactly how I feel right now, like the answer will swallow me any minute now (well tomorrow really). Thank you so much, you have no idea how much this helped me even if it’s nothing like my situation, Milli! I think it will be very much the same for me, harsh pain and then eventually finding a way to let go.

    • I’m so glad it helped, Estrella. I was hoping it wouldn’t sound like one of those “This too shall pass” flavors of advice. Because sometimes that doesn’t help when the pain is swallowing you. I was hoping instead to hold out a beacon. :~)

  5. Well, I’m a little confused, but …to me…it’s better to KNOW! There is nothing worse than being alone in the dark with unanswered questions. Having had several cancer scares – knowing is better than wondering….

  6. Perhaps I’m being contrary – but, please, it’s not just for the sake of being contrary.

    I’ve gone through my life, certainly the last couple of decades, actively not knowing, or not believing I know, or not requiring that I know.

    I distrust certainty – in myself or others. Yes, there are things, mostly health-related, that it is best to *know*. And I really try to remind myself that I *should* know these things.

    The rest? I actively refuse to *know* how some future thing will turn out (positively or otherwise) because there really are too many variables. My life has been full of too many changes to be able to state I know how something will turn out.

    By temperament I am optimistic – but I still avoid expecting things to turn out well. In exactly the same way I avoid expecting things to turn out ill.

    Will my relationship last? I cannot say – yet each day I actively work to ensure I care for and am present to (and simply love) the person with whom I’m sharing my life.

    Will I keep my job? No clue. Too many things outside my control to state one way or the other. But I work to make myself needed so that, should someone take it into their head to cut costs, they won’t cut me (or my hourly rate!).

    What will happen when we go to sell our condo sometime after April next year? I don’t know. I wish I did, so we could plan the move to Kansas City, MO more easily. But I’ll neither assume all will be well, nor all will be dire.

    I’ve written above that this involves “actively” not knowing. It does. And sometimes it’s tiring. Sometimes I wish I knew more. But, most of the time, I am ok with gray.

    As I said, I distrust certainty. Particularly when I am *certain* of something. It makes me nervous. And experience has taught that there’s good reason behind such nervousness.

    Estrella, with all the above, I wish you well and hope knowing brings clarity and peace.

    • I enjoyed reading your viewpoint on this, Kevin. I guess it all comes down to what type of information it is you want or don’t want to know.
      Maybe one day I’ll be able to say it’s a good thing to know (in this particular situation), but for now it just raised more questions that I’d like to dwell on right now. And many of them are the same as this one was, I want to know the answer to them. But I have no idea how I’ll deal with the answers.

  7. I believe that as I grow it’s not about getting absolute answers but it is about being more comfortable with the questions.

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