I Don’t Know

I don’t know when I became so uncomfortable with not knowing.

It used to be when I was in conversation with a friend at a restaurant, and could not remember that thing — you know, that one little thing, that thing that was right there on the tip of my tongue just a second ago — that I had to be comfortable with having forgotten it. I had to be content with not having all the answers. I was at ease with my humanity. We humans, forget.

I did not have all of the world’s information at my fingertips. I did not stop the conversation, whip out my smartphone, and find the answer. My memory was not bolstered and supported by such a crutch. The gaps in my knowledge had no such mortar to fill them. Yet, I was OK with this. I lost no sleep over it — save those nights that thing I could not remember in earlier conversation came to me like a jolt as I drifted off to sleep. But even here was a certain potential. The promise that even things I could not remember were not forgotten. That all knowledge I had obtained until the present lay deep within me. That all I did not know was a boundless opportunity to fulfill through scholarship, effort, interest, and happenstance.

These days, I think I have all the answers. Even when I don’t they are but a few taps away. And I don’t think it makes me any more the wiser.

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