I have too many questions and no answers; that’s what life is about. I remember sitting in elementary school in the fifth grade, quietly raising my hand hoping that I would get called on, because I knew I had the right answer. It was devasting when Mrs. Gumbs called on someone else, because I knew my answer was correct. Time passed by, but my passion to speak the right answer never disappeared. I sat in 8th grade English class with my hand held high waiting to express my favorite beat poet’s name:Lawrence Ferlinghetti. I can feel the stiffness in my arm from waiting, and I’m not longer 13, I’m 37.
My worth isn’t predicated on whether I know the right answer, but I believed it was at the time.
When my hand stopped flying up in high school, it was hard. When my confidence dropped, it was difficult. I wasn’t mastering pre-calculus and I couldn’t raise my hand anymore with confidence. I had more questions than answers and my feet were what I was looking at more than the teacher’s gaze.
In college my heart pounded when I raised my hand, even if I was certain my answer was correct. I was nervous and sought the validation of the other students around me, but more importantly I wanted to impress the professor at the head of the lecture hall.
Now that I’m 37, the opportunities to raise my hand are few and far between. I want to give my feedback, to be correct, to know something, but there isn’t anyone’s gaze to meet, or professional to impress.
In order to answer those questions, I have to find people out in the world to help me. But there are so many people out there. How do I know who to trust? The answer is inside myself like it’s always been. That’s why I’ve been raising my hand all these years.