There was this series Oprah did for a long time called Things I Know for Sure and I loved it. Story goes, someone famous once asked her the question, she thought it profound, then she proceeded to ask a bunch of other famous people the same question, and then it became a thing.
I can see why I liked it. We love knowing things for sure. It makes us feel safe. It means shit can’t fall apart without warning. That our world is predictable and there are rules and we have control.
He’ll love me forever.
My car will start in the morning.
I’ll never be lonely again.
The shower will be hot.
My feelings won’t change.
Her feelings won’t change.
It’ll be sunny tomorrow.
I’ll be happy.
And so on.
We rely on knowing things; we think we need to know things; it makes us really, really uncomfortable when we don’t have an answer.
I will rarely ever admit I don’t know. I actually caught myself in a conversation at work the other day where the first two words of my response to everything my colleague said was, I know. How annoying.
I bet I’ve said “I don’t know” less than anything else in my life!
So this one is about not knowing. About saying “I don’t know” more often, without following it up an apology or something I do know. Here’s to “I don’t know” being a full answer.
Here’s to Oprah being totally full of shit.
(One exception to this, which my friend Matt cheerily pointed out, is: we know we’re going to die. OK. Fine. We know we’re going to die. But the rest? The rest is really a mystery.)