Missing answers

This is a post I wrote back in August after a miserable trip up North to race a triathlon. I went to the race for the wrong reasons and that became very apparent during the race. While I was reluctant to post this at the time, I now can reflect with satisfaction, knowing that it was simply another hurdle to overcome.

I remember when I used to pretend I knew the answers to things. It was comfortable. It made me feel like I had place and purpose and helped dissipate the loneliness. I knew the questions needed answers otherwise they would drive me mad. But what I did not understand is that I could have the same result from simply not asking the questions. The questions are unanswerable, at least right now. To avoid asking them would avoid making up answers as well as creating the predicament of dissatisfaction. A false answer could only temporarily satisfy me but to avoid asking would prevent the false contentment.

Some questions have been answered in the past several years. That is a result of attained knowledge. In high school I was asking questions like from where and why without knowing what. It was like asking whether the chicken or the egg came first without knowing what the hell a chicken or an egg are. It is all speculation and the answer will be unfounded.

“I beg you…to have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don’t search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer…”- Rainer Marie Rilke

My mom gave me a card with that quote on the front a couple years ago. I can’t say I needed it at the time but I knew it would be a statement that I would need as a reminder. I was happy and content at the time. I would stray occasionally but not like I have recently.

Seven days ago I had epitomized the anti of this quote. I was up in Vermont to race Olympic Distance Nationals. My goal was plain and simple-to get top five overall. But that goal in itself was a distraction. It was a distraction from the race. The goal was a question and the race was life itself. To have a goal was not necessarily a problem. But in my case, it became one. Instead of simply racing and discovering the goal, I raced to attain it and ended up almost as far from it as possible.

This past week I have missed out on some answers because I was busy asking questions. It has been a tough week. The past three months I have been almost entirely alone but never once felt lonely while the past week I have been bombarded with human contact and incapable of expressing my frustration.

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