A Love Letter to the Unknown

Dear Unknown,

You’ve always made we feel really uncomfortable. I just hate not knowing what’s going to happen five minutes, five days or five years from now. I can feel the fear of the unknown all over my body, all the time – I can feel it in the crevices between my toes and in the pit of my stomach, in the mornings and in the evenings, on Thursdays and on Sundays.

My fear of the unknown manifests in a lot of ways. Sometimes it’s staying up late reading Wikipedia articles about a bunch of random celebrities. I just have to know everything there is to know about all the actors in To All The Boys I’ve Loved. Other times it’s Googling every possible explanation for whatever random medical issue I’m experiencing. Good news: my swollen bug bite was JUST a bug bite, after all.

For so long I’ve tried to play it safe, and micromanage and over-organize every area of my life. I’m obsessed with entering every single activity into my calendar, and planning out every detail of my schedule ahead of time. And whenever something unexpected comes up, I assume the worst possible outcome. My brain tries to convince me that I must know everything NOW. That knowing all is the only way I can feel grounded. But a part of me is learning that it’s ok to not know everything.

Six months ago I left my stable, full-time job and took a massive leap of faith – I decided to try working for myself. Making the decision to actively choose the unknown over the familiar made me feel all sorts of emotions. Beneath a thick layer of fear, I felt an unexpected wave of calm come over me. Despite being afraid, I was finally ready to take the plunge and follow my heart into unknown territory.

Making this change cracked myself open in a way I had never experienced before, and while I’ve been scared the entire way through, the universe has led me to some of the most incredible places. This summer, I had the opportunity to travel to New Zealand to speak to college students and in the last six months, I have written for several magazines I adored as a teen girl. I’ve been able to share my voice in a way I never did before, and I feel an abundance of creative freedom that is unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. Beyond all of this, I’ve met so many incredible people who are paving their own paths just like me. And this is just the beginning!

Slowly, I’ve been finding solace in the fact that things are always going to be out of my control and that this is a universal experience. There is comfort in knowing that and I am finding more and more solidarity in the unknown. After all, it gives you countless opportunities to change your path and grow in a different direction. At the end of the day, there is always something else on the horizon for me, even if it’s not what I expected, hoped or planned for.

Each day is different and there is no way of knowing what’s to come for me. I have no security, no stable income, and no cushion to fall back on. But I feel alive in a way I never did before and for that I am grateful. Even if I don’t always have all the answers, deep down inside I know the universe is taking me exactly where I’m meant to go and I am ready for every part of this journey.