*Let Ambiguity Exist*


One of my intentions for this 28th year of life was to let ambiguity exist. I've traditionally made relatively safe, calculated moves with my life. This allowed me to "know" all the time. There is great comfort in knowing things. Planning things. Checking boxes on lists. I love all that stuff. But I felt like it was time to sit with some uncertainty and learn to make friends with it. Because things do not always go according to plans. And I want to learn to be friends with ambiguity on my terms. So I'm testing the waters. For four months there have been very few things I could tell you about the layout of my life. The continuous string of wondering how to get where I'm going, where I'll sleep, and what I will do for work have melded into a makeshift chair that I'm getting comfortable in, though a fair amount of fidgeting is involved. And for the most part, I thought I was rocking my goal. High fives for everyone!

But situational ambiguity was just a false bottom to the real goldmine of anxiety around uncertainty.  I recently had to mediate multiple situations navigating other people's frustration, disappointment, and tension. And because we're all on a continuum of learning how to get to the bottom of how we feel and express it well, some of those interactions were less than pleasant. Let me paint you a picture of how I look internally when someone else's unpleasant feeling are blowing towards me. Have you ever seen someone who is terrified of spiders discover a spider? On their face? While driving? I'm all like, "WHAT?! Someone's upset? Get it off me! Get it off NOW!!" It's an epic convergence of my bucking bronco of an ego, my whiny toddler of self doubt, and my hamster on a wheel of a brain.

So...I haven't settled the bill with uncertainty yet. But I'm working on it. The immediate reaction of my heightened feelings piled on top of their heightened feelings turns me into a whirling dervish in a sandstorm. And I begin to create more a more complicated scenario just because I won't sit still. So let the dust settle. Try to see if what's being projected on you has its own false bottom with a ground floor of tough stuff that's not yours to deal with. Own your mistakes, of course. But don't throw your back out trying to pick up someone else's perceptions. Just like your parents said when you were little, "that's not yours. Put it back." Give ambiguity some breathing room.

Amber Gruber