redefining curiosity

people don’t like being asked the hard questions. why are you that way? how was the universe created? when are you going to accomplish that? who hurt you? what do you love about yourself? why do you feel that way? do you believe in God? why don’t you talk to your family? who are you? or what do you want to be in this life?

the hard questions tend to hit a tender spot inside of us: the spot that’s purely and unchangeably human. the spot that knows deep down, even though we act like we know or have it all figured out, we don’t. we’re all just thrown into this life with no absolute knowledge of why or how. and no matter how much we learn or attain or acquire, there will still be things that we don’t know.

people don’t like answering the hard questions because there’s no one truth. each of those questions I posed at the beginning of this blog post will look different depending on who I ask. more over, the individuals asked probably wouldn’t be able to answer every question straight-forward. maybe, because they’ve never thought about those things. maybe, because they don’t know the answer and that scares them. but here’s the thing — I don’t believe that every question needs to have an answer. in fact, I think the only role most questions need to play is the role of sparking curiosity — the role of getting people to think.

growing up I asked a lot of questions. regardless of the annoyed responses I received from my dad and brother, and despite the fact that schools didn’t do the best job at making kids feel confident about raising their hands and inquiring about something, my curiosity has remained. the root of my questions, however, lies in the fact that I like knowing things. I feel anxious if I lack knowledge about something. I do not find comfort in the unknown, therefore I search for answers. growing up, seeking answers to attain more knowledge was a great thing. it helped me learn and improve and hone skills among many other beneficial outcomes. although, there comes a point where asking questions solely for the sake of getting answers does more harm than good. it tricks us into thinking that there are answers to everything, and that instead of finding comfort in the unknown, we need to search for comfort. it’s a restless way to live.

i’m not saying that we shouldn’t be curious about things. we should always be questioning why we do the things we do, or who we are, or if heaven is real, or asking ourselves what we love about our lives and what we don’t. curiosity sparks thought, growth, and change — things that I believe are essential to a human’s life. however, curiosity can be dangerous if we don’t change our definition of it. i’ve learned that when I ask a question with the intention of seeking an answer, i’m not satisfied. this is because most of the time, I’m expecting someone to reply with the answer that I’ve already created in my head. that almost never happens. instead, i’ve decided to go into my questions with more of an open mind. using more of that tender spot inside me and not expecting it to be filled with answers, but allowing it to accept the fact that there might not be any.

its okay to not know the answers. and it’s also okay to feel uncomfortable with the unknown. but these are things that are out of our control, and so I’m learning to find the beauty in them. it’s about turning the hard and scary questions into an opportunity for discovery. learning to be okay with ambiguity and let it into your life will make space for so much self growth. not knowing the answers, and not asking questions solely for the purpose of knowing things, gives us the free will to create our own. to make our lives whatever we want them to be. to believe whatever we want to believe. to be who we want to be.

curiosity isn’t meant to limit your mind and human experience by stamping “concrete” answers on your questions. it isn’t about asking yourself, “what are the answers.” rather, it’s about allowing yourself to say things like “I never thought about that before” more, and letting curiosity expand your mind. redefine your definition of what it means to ask questions, and allow yourself to find growth, beauty, and comfort in the hard ones.