The Two Sides of Uncertainty

There’s a reason, I think, why places like purgatory and the dentist’s stark, white waiting room fill us with a subtle sense of dread. A reason why, being quite an impatient species, we’d rather keep a band-aid on or rip it off, tiny hairs plucked out screaming, in one swift motion, and a reason why the time between the fight and the break up builds a tempest in your chest before things quieten down once more.

We don’t like being in-between anything.

Or, if you’d rather make things seem more profound at your next dinner party, ‘we just can’t bear the agony of uncertainty’. Crippling uncertainty that bites at your ankles and has you shifting in your seat or pacing around — quite inconveniently, of course, while you’re trying to get along with your ‘normal’ day, sometimes failing to keep up the pretence of calm.

An uncertainty that eats at you with the ‘what ifs’ and the ‘but hows’ and has you picking away at skin, piece by piece, and gnawing at nails and fingertips; and endless parade of fidgeting because at least it’s better than doing nothing (or at least, it feels a little better at the time). It’s eerily quiet, this strange and misty space between where you were and where you want to be — an awkward state of affairs where you’re at once in two places and yet nowhere at all. The in-between is terrifying.

But what about the times, however many or few, when we welcome the uncertainty of our in-betweens? What about the heart-fluttering anticipation before the curtain rises and rises, unveiling a whirlwind of strutting prima donnas and finely-crafted feeling carved out with every line of script and song? What about the sweaty-palmed anticipation of a first date, and the truly maddening pause before (if it does happen) the kiss?

What about the wild, thumping excitement — and yes, a little bit of fear — that keeps you company as you jump, feet first, into your next adventure, no matter how big or how small it might seem to the ever-so-nosy world ‘out there’? The kind of uncertainty that looks at you and smiles like an old friend, nudging you into action when you need it most.

It’s terrifying. Silent. Maddening. Powerful.

--

--

--

Restless writer & opinionated human

Love podcasts or audiobooks? Learn on the go with our new app.

Recommended from Medium

Is It Necessary to Have Friends in Real Life?

Distinctive features of a man who has everything bad with women

Your Truth, Their Truth & The Truth

My Ancestors Are Helping Me Heal My Childhood Sexual Abuse Trauma

The Secret Ingredient to Friendship

We are absolutely responsible for our part in our story. That’s the good news.

My Sunshine.

The Only Ingredient of Successful Relationships

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Kelly Dent

Kelly Dent

Restless writer & opinionated human

More from Medium

Are There Positives To Depression? Here Are 2 Of Mine

Dealing With Depression

An image showing the same tree at different times of the day. The passage Matthew 11:28–30 is quoted in the New King James Version.

Depression Isn’t The Problem

Some Thoughts on Education from an Anarchist Science Teacher Doing the Shit Job of Crushing Dreams…