After returning from Spain, I realized my time in Ireland was running out (6 weeks to be precise) and there was still so much I wanted to see. Therefore when the weather forecast miraculously showed a little sun icon, I impulsively purchased a tour to visit the Cliffs of Moher - Ireland’s most famous landmark.
But after submitting my credit card details and hastily pressing Purchase, I was seized by immediate, but brief, regret. Was it a good idea to rush just for the fleeting hope of a little sunshine?
I believe the best times in life are often usually random and unplanned – think of it as the anti-New-Year-Eve affect. Any other night of fancy dresses, tiaras, confetti and bountiful champagne is a delight but an expectant evening of “planned fun” is no rival to for an accidental-drunk Wednesday night.
While I love spontaneity, I’m not sure I love uncertainty... or at least not the kind of uncertainty that feels entirely unknowable, what I’ve taken to calling unbounded uncertainty. With sands of time speedily falling to the bottom of the timer, I am acutely aware that have no idea where I’m heading after Ireland... and my calm collectedness about my future waffles. If I had a range of internships that I was actively entertaining – the uncertainty of multiplicity – I would be okay. In this situation, I’d be wedded to an outcome that I just didn't have a chance to fall in love with in advance. Easy enough. But the uncertainty of nothingness makes me queasy. I think of it a bit like writing – the anxiety of a blank page can be debilitating. It is easy for the pundit to tell me to be prepared for anything. However, life is a lot easier if I assume that tomorrow the sun will rise in the East, that my bank will process cheques that I deposit and that my phone will periodically buzz with heart-warming (and sometimes side-splitting) animal videos from my sister. Not knowing where I will be living in a month’s time is a testing my capacity for ambiguity. But little moments in my journey are helping inoculate me against black-box uncertainty so that I’m a little more resilient every day.
Wanting to share my good fortune with my closest internet friends, I posted about my hostel joy on Instagram. Moments later, a flurry of envious comments started appearing. Struck by a bolt of coincidence resulting from this seemingly random post, I learned that a newly minted friend from Dublin was also in Galway that night so I’d have someone to share a pint with later. You could almost see the butterfly effect in action.
I’m not convinced I love the black box of the completely unknown. It takes fortitude to live with a future that's not clearly imagined. And as easy as it would be to dwell on the uncertainty (and the fear that comes with that), I’ve chosen to recalibrate choosing to wholeheartedly witness these moments of synchronicity. I choose to think of them as the universe telling me “warmer... you’re getting warmer.”
See part 2 of this weekend trip here.
“People with choose unhappiness over uncertainty” – Tim Ferriss
Nice to meet you...
I'm Andi (hence the blog name). I'm a travel aficionado, passionate eater, tireless explorer of internet rabbit-holes, and amateur thinker. Join me as I give it all up (ok, that's a bit of an exaggeration) and go around the world on a mid-career "soul sabbatical" & year-of-learning to figure out what to be NEXT when I grow up. Won’t you grab a cup of chai and stay a while?
Learn More >