The Fear of the Unknown

“We do not fear the unknown. We fear what we think we know about the unknown.”

-Teal Swan

It’s a strange place.  That place where you doubt literally every choice you make because of the unknown.

Is it normal, or is it just me?  Does everyone come to a place in life where they feel like this? 

I promise that I’ve doubted literally every decision I’ve made the last two weeks with the exception of my coffee order (which is rarely up for debate or indecision).

Why is it that when you have major life decisions to make, everything seems so much harder?  I spent the weekend doubting every single thing I’ve decided since October.  It makes me feel all anxious and nervous and like nothing I have decided is right.

I know it is just my mind playing tricks on me.  I know that my thoughts of “but maybe there’s a better house/town/house offer/fill-in-the-blank” is just ridiculousness. 

I tell myself, “Water your own grass.  Believe in your own journey.  Trust that the universe knows best.”  So, why can’t I get over the fear of the unknown?

Is it magical not to know everything, or is it down-right terrifying?

Everything from the potential new house to the snacks I let the kids pick for the plane ride home are daunting me.  Will the new house be “home”?  Is it big enough?  Is it in the right place?  Will the M&M’s I let my kids buy before the plane ride make my kid puke before we land? 

Who knows.

But the fear of the unknown is enough to keep my stomach in tight knots. 

Maybe I’ll puke before the flight lands.  It’s anyone’s guess at this point.

Despite all of these feelings, I’m guessing that I’m not alone.  I’m guessing that my husband, who is having to deal with most of the hard stuff involving the move, is also feeling it.  I’m guessing my kids have some version of what I’m feeling despite the fact that I’ve tried my best to keep the anxiety under wraps.

I’m guessing that even you, reader, know exactly what I’m talking about.

There is just so much unknown that it seems as if it is swirling around me in a black abyss right now. 

If you don’t really know me, let me tell you, I am a planner. 

My desk may not scream planner. I have loads of papers and random piles of organized chaos. My principal and colleagues probably think I’m a disorganized mess.

Don’t let it fool you. I AM a planner and an organizer. I need dates and details and plans that outline almost every minute of the day.  It’s just how my brain works. I truly couldn’t help it if I tried.

In my brain, to keep my nerves calm, I need to know what time things are happening (whether it’s house cleaning or entertaining or leaving for a tropical vacation), where we will be, what we are eating, and a whole slew of other mundane details down to the time of day at which I might be able sneak away and grab a Starbucks.  (Coffee plans are necessary.)

All of this is a real bummer when you face so many unknowns.  There are no answers that anyone can give me right now to satisfy my fear of the unknown. 

I know this.  And yet, I can’t stop thinking about it.

I spend an insane number of minutes every day wondering about things I can’t control, like, when will we sell our furniture and what we will do on the night(s) that we have sold or loaded everything and have no mattress to sleep on? 

I think about things like how we will show up to our new house with almost no furniture and how we will manage to get it furnished in order to just sit on the couch and relax. 

I wonder if this huge move will be like the last one. Will one of our children come into our bedroom in the middle of the night before moving day with an insane fever? Will I have to stop and buy Tylenol to feed them as I drive one-handed down the interstate? Will I worry the entire drive about why they are sick?

I don’t make this stuff up. My fear of the unknown is based on solid fact from the past.

I even think about absurd things like, what if I forget to suspend my Amazon subscription for that month and my entire order of toilet paper, paper towels, dog food, and coffee shows up to an empty house in Arizona when I’m thousands of miles away?

I honestly think about these things. Only to name a few.

You do not need to tell me how ridiculous I sound.  But these are the things that fill my mind.  Before I go to work, while I eat lunch, driving to the dance studio, while I vacuum my carpet, before I go to bed… I am always thinking about the unknown.

Fast forward a couple of days…

I am happy to report that neither my son or I threw up on the Delta stewardess on the flight home.  It was, however, debatable for a solid two and a half hours. 

I am also happy to report that after days of uncertain anxiety about making the right decision, I feel content. 

I am content because I have decided to embrace the grass we have. 

We accepted a house offer even though it might not have been “the perfect” offer.  We accepted it because it was a good offer, it serves our needs right now, and it eases the situation.  It allows us to go forward on the house we found on our trip. 

I am no longer doubting the decision about the new house because my wise husband helped me realized that it serves our needs and we like it. (And for the love of all that’s holy, if I have to look at one more Zillow listing, I might lose what’s left of my sanity.)

Why do I have to make things so hard?  My hubby’s simple words cleared the clouds of doubt that fog my brain.  If it serves us, if it satisfies what we want and need, why worry?

Why could I not see that until he laid it out in black and white?  I’m not sure, but I’m super thankful that he has a way of cutting through my mental fog to help me see reality despite the unknowns.

We still have a lot of unknowns.  Paperwork that we are both struggling to figure out, inspection dates and appraisals and title companies and the reality that we have to organize moving our life more than 2,000 miles away, and the list goes on.  The fear of the unknown is still there, but it’s at bay.

For now.

While all of this has been happening in my head, I do stop on occasion and remember that sometimes I have to trust my husband’s rock-solid reasoning and stability, and I also have to trust the universe to deliver the miraculum that I am expecting.

It’s okay to expect miracles. 

I am expecting miracles that involve my house contracts flowing along in flawless harmony.  I am expecting that I might get to spend the long journey from Point A to Point B with not only my husband, my kids, and my amazing in-laws that are travelling with us to lighten the load, but also maybe even a long-lost best friend who wants to come along for the ride. 

I am expecting the stars to align, everything to work out exactly as it’s meant to be, and for the miraculum to amaze me once again.

While I am at it, I might as well expect a class of fourth grade angels tomorrow who want nothing more than to make their dear teacher happy by listening, being kind to each other, and not making me lose my mind.

I mean, hey, with a little miraculum, anything is possible.

Be grateful (even for the unknown), water your own grass,

…and drink coffee.

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  1. I feel like you manifesting your “miracles” is 100% a sign of optimism and confidence 🤷🏼‍♀️ Some may say, fake it until you make it.. I’ve never felt that about you. It’s always genuine. As far as decision making and worry… girl! Me every decision and thought I make including my on going bill pay of 4 years that’s never changed, to I hope that one time 6 years ago that person knows I was sorry, even when I said it. I love you, and everything you do 💜

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