Saturday, September 18, 2010

Who Knew?

I just read Our Man in Chicago's essay for the Chicago 20x2 event. The essay was based on the prompt "Who Knew?"
But in trying to answer the question “Who Knew?” I kept coming back to what initially sounded like a very pompous answer: “I knew.” And by that I meant “I knew the answer to a question even though I pretended like I didn’t.”
Scott goes on to explain how he knew before he knew it wasn't going to work out with one woman, how he knew before he knew it would work out with another, and how he knew before he knew he might be on the verge of pooping his pants.
The point is: The more you try and distract yourself, the more likely it is that you’re avoiding the answer you already know.
This whole "I knew" reflection reminds me of where I was a little over a year ago. My French was getting pretty good and I had been adopted into a great group of (French!) friends. I had a place to live, a job in my field. A company had even approached me for another, better job, for which I had taken a writing test. They didn't call back. Neither did I. Because even though I had had serious conversations with close friends about Parisian salary requirements, I didn't know I knew.

Even though I left work early one month before my flight back to Chicago, then spent the other half of the day crying, I didn't know I knew.

Even though I thought about how hard it would be the find a job in Chicago because I had a seemingly worthless journalism degree during a time when there were fewer jobs for journalists by the hour, I didn't know I knew.

And even though I talked to anyone who would listen about my should-or-stay-or-should-I-go? conundrum, I didn't know I knew.

And even the first few months in Chicago, so excited to be back in the land of customer service and Target, speaking a language without acognizing over pronounciation and not having to worry about meeting new people because so many of my closest friends were right there, I didn't know I knew.

Because I couldn't find a job no matter how hard I looked, was freaked out by the unnatural hugeness the bananas - and humans - at the store and was constantly frustrated by turning the key to the left to unlock doors when I had been accustomed to turning it to the right.

Next week, I'll celebrate one back year in Chicago. I've come a long way in this time, and I haven't always been sure that I made the right decision. But it doesn't matter because I already knew.


Jane_says said...

You captured it. It's is odd how knowing is outside of feeling or even wanting.

I know all about that.

Great essay.

Jane_says said...

Ugh. Typo!