Geometric proofs taught me about failure.
Up until encountering them, I had certainly failed before.
Failed to dunk.
Failed to learn a legitimate skateboard trick.
You know, things like that.
However, the freshness of this type of failure was that success was more of a mirage and less of a clear impossibility.
When riding skateboards it was obvious that in order to get better, I needed to ride more hours and take more risks. I simply didn’t do these things, so it wasn’t a surprise when I wiped out.
When writing proofs in Geometry class, no matter how much I studied and how much extra help I attended, the correct answers evaded me like sand between my fingers.
A few months ago I felt this feeling all over again when in an Escape Room in D.C.
Having experienced one before, I was confident of my critical thinking skills and even found myself sizing up the other people in the room before we began. I had visions of being the Rosetta Stone, the one calling out clear directions, the one untying the Gordian Knot.
Instead, I found myself right back in sophomore year – frustrated, dejected, defeated.
Just to be clear, I’ve failed countless times, but these two seemed to fit together perfectly.
For most of my life I’ve looked at solutions as the aha moment, when statements and reasons are clear and acceptable, when the door finally opens.
I love, but have always struggled with Matthew 7:7-8,
Ask, and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.
Sure, problems can be solved, doors can be opened, it might just take a while I guess. Whether it’s in this life is not for me to know, and I’m okay with that.
I’m comfortable knowing there are those out there with superior intellects, more money, or exotic opportunities. Comfortable because it’s true, the only false belief is me thinking I have a handle on things.
The reality is, there’s no way out.
Now, instead of searching for proof or a way out, I’m getting more and more comfortable with being right here.
Our society is obsessed with the next best_________
If I’ve put in the effort, there is nothing wrong with problems remaining unsolved.
My life is not something to be figured out.
My life is not something to be escaped.