By Moeko Shinohara
May 31, 2014
Living with uncertainty will take my life time to reconcile. I want to know, understand, and act or not act. Uncertain things are subjects of the desire, at the same time obstacles to it.
Living where I’m not from is an explicit experiment field for the desire and uncertainty to meet. It’s the constant back and forth between feeling like an explorer of the world and feeling knowing nothing (or even risky). But where is my equilibrium?
Celebrating my experience and graduation from a grad school, I’ll take my life in a town outside of Philly as an example. When I arrived at the school, I had the first breakdown at the very first month:
- Cannot understand my classmates’ English.
- Cannot comprehend books even though I look up all the words I didn’t know (the terminology problem).
- Not sure about the meaning of having hard time so much.
I wholeheartedly doubted my ability to continue my study there. The degree of uncertainty was beyond what I could handle at that time.
I think in general such uncertainty is what drives people crazy, sad (for no reason), and even hostile. It is too vague to capture intellectually and to perceive visibly when we are in the middle. Bearing with (own) world’s uncertainty is the hardest part, yet that is the crucial time to look back upon. It’s the afterthought, it’s the recollection that give a meaning to a particular experience.
What happens in living abroad is that the frequency of uncertain situations is so intense that I cannot possibly care all of them. This makes me embrace the uncertainty. I grew patient, optimistic, “laid-back”, and less complaining than I was 25.
I expect this constant wave of want-to-know vs I-don’t-know will be around the whole time of my life. Yet, I think the question is how I cope with it and bring up myself to my equilibrium.