Internal Investigation

“The art and science of asking questions is the source to all knowledge”

-Thomas Berger

So it’s been a while, hasn’t it, wordpress?

This summer has been one for the books; that’s for certain. I’ve been tied up with work, online class, camp prep, RA prep, Leadteam Chair prep, Leadershape, and more, so I haven’t made time to post. I apologize to those of you who have been avidly following my every published word on this website and have devastatingly awaited my return to this blog.

Well, viola, I returned. I guess my motive for writing here today is more that I just feel like doing so. Perhaps it’s really just been a while. There are so many things I want to update this blog with, like my run-in with racism yesterday at work, or my experience with amazing Leadershape; however, both of those topics would take too much deliberate thought. Instead, I feel more in a stream of consciousness, mood. I’ve got my mellow-music playing, so here goes nothing.

Earlier, I was mulling over my own thoughts about individuality.
You see, I work by myself in a concession stand at a dramatically-underutilized city park. (we’ll save the greater details for a later post) Given the long and lonely work conditions, I now get to contemplate life more than I have in the past. Today’s topic happened to be: the value of individuality and the absolute wonder it is to be my own person. I even tweeted “how silly is it that your life is completely and exclusively your own and yet some people are willing to give that up to ‘fit in.'” I really got thinking about this, asking myself questions like, “How often do I internally investigate my own strengths and weaknesses? (Followed by an internal investigation of personal strengths and weaknesses). How genuine am I with other people on a daily basis? How honest am I with myself in comparison how honest I am with other people? Can I mark an example of the last time I went out on a whim, because I knew being uncomfortable would eventually mean growth?” For the most part, I was satisfied with my performance; I found solace in my answers to these questions. The thing is though, I had never answered these questions before, let alone asked myself them.

The last question really got me thinking even deeper. “…because I knew being uncomfortable would eventually mean growth?” The questions I asked myself were prime examples of this sense of discomfort leading to personal growth. See, life really is like a roller coaster; and no, not because it has ups and downs and whatever else is described in that completely overused cliché. But instead, roller coasters freak me out. The idea of them from the ground makes me uneasy. However, I know how fun they are. I’ve been on every ride at Cedar Point and loved each one, yet every time I go back, I get nervous. The same applied to life’s big questions. I find that, it’s as easy to ask myself tough questions as it is to board a roller coaster. I don’t want to, because it makes me uncomfortable. Yet, once I’ve asked myself a thought-provoking question, I have to answer it, the way I have to enjoy the ride. I find more success in my life is the result of answering tough life questions.

The hardest part isn’t answering them; it’s asking them. You first have to even acknowledge them, and that can be scary. Questions are statements with an unknown, which is why meaningful questions are so frightening. How can something precious have an unknown variable? Take your own life, for example. How can your life have missing variables? How can it possibly be incomplete? People would rather live in false-belief that they are complete, because it is easier and more comfortable, thereby never asking questions that would make them uncomfortable with their own lives.

Once you start asking yourself questions about life that make you uncomfortable, continue. Don’t step back. Fully embrace that, yes, there ARE unknowns in your life, and that the only way to solve them is by acknowledging the questions that will make them known to you.

The only way to complete your life is to look inward. Stare into yourself when you want to piece it all together.

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