It’s easy to pretend you’ve got it all figured out when you never leave your tiny corner of the world and entrench yourself in a like-minded community that consistently reiterates the same “knowledge” you believe you posses.
It’s easy to believe yourself wise and confident and successful when you are the big fish in a little pond with no inlets.
There’s a security in these things, too. An illusion of concreteness, of certainty, that might be necessary for the creation of the ego (in a psychoanalytical sense, more than a conceited sense). And I think these types of situations can be great in times of extreme doubt, or maybe in the formative years of one’s life, when consistency and reliability are important.
But I think at some point, it is necessary to embrace the unknown, to shove off into the uncertain world and experience it in ways that are impossible in the situations I’ve described above. I think it is critical to come to terms with how very much you (I) don’t know. To accept the fact that the world is vast in its wonder and its tragedy and that, no matter what, a single lifetime is only long enough to experience the most infinitesimal fraction of that vast world.
That is one of the reasons I want to travel and go to PhD school and move beyond the “comfort,” or rather stagnation zone that is my hometown. I think that as humans, we always take community in extremes. We shun it or we rely on it like a crutch. Community is an amazing thing, but only if it is made up of people who both support you and also challenge you. And, the thing about community is, thanks to technology, it does not require proximity to exist.
“When you’re a kid, they tell you it’s all… grow up, get a job, get married, get a house, have a kid, and that’s it. But the truth is, the world is so much stranger than that. It’s so much darker. And so much madder. And so much better.”
— Doctor Who (Love and Monsters)