Monday, January 23, 2012

The Need to Know

one of my goals over the past couple of months was to let go of my incessant need to know. i have always been compelled to seek the reasons for, or truth about, motives, events, or actions of people. not because i want a juicy scoop or to validate myself, but just to understand shit.

i consider myself an understanding person, forgiving to a fault, so it makes me curious when people keep things from me. maybe i see myself as something i'm not? maybe i'm not approachable. maybe i over-react and people would rather avoid a conversation with me altogether because they think i'm going to unleash on them.

this innate need to know, well, it's not a bad trait to have when doing market research or making a decision about having a body part removed. it can be helpful when negotiating business deals. but i am not naturally inclined to explore the deep, dark truth behind the reason the SEC eliminated and then reinstated the uptick rule. i don't even care what was in the 50 cinnamon gummy hearts i just ate.

my curiosity is obviously romanticism-based; i'm not always searching for logic or absolute realism.

for example, i'd like to know why out of five siblings, i am the only one who doesn't need glasses or contacts. and i am not talking about understanding the genetic probability (it's 75% if both parents carry the gene) or the implications of refractive errors -- i want to know whether my parents ate something weird on the night i was conceived; if it's because no one pointed a flashlight directly into my eyes when i was little; if all my kin masturbated too much; if my sister knocked my occipital lobe into overdrive when we cracked skulls that one time ... i am not complaining, i don't want corrective lenses. it's just interesting to me.

anyway, i digress. often people perceive my need to know as my need to be right. this is the biggest misconception people have about me. i don't need to be right nor do i need scientific evidence about something. i just need to know intention and thought-processes. in fact, a lot of times, i would prefer to be wrong about questions i have or the motives of others. i often hope i am not right. others perceive my need to know as annoying or skeptical, or they think i am going to use the information against them in some way. not true either. well, why? why do you want to know? because. i want to know. why do you ask? because i'm curious. why not?

maybe my need to know has spilled over into the unhealthy category because sometimes i obsess about why mentally ill people or sociopaths do crazy things. there is no explanation, outside of a neurological defect or diagnosis that i am not qualified to understand. still, i wonder. what are they thinking? when did they start thinking that way? did they know they were going crazy?

i wish i could dismiss instead of analyze but more often than not, it's because i have a physical reaction about something that catapults my brain into a spinning top. i am driven by intuition and physical sensations that result in my search for some kind of answer or resolution. i've always just considered it a "gut feeling" or a "vibe." and it's not a bad thing. sometimes acting on these feelings result in great things. other times, i wish i would have acted on them instead of suppressing them.

i want to learn new things, i want to see things from a new perspective, i want to understand, i want to know if people think the same way i do, i want to know if it's normal, i want to know why some people are detached, i want to know why some people find peace, i need to know why i interpret things completely opposite than others. that's it. is that the kind of curiosity that killed the cat? ok, so maybe i don't need to know why Tim Tebow thinks it's okay to have a giant head, wear terrible fashion, and brag about why Jesus loves him so much more than everyone else. i can accept that i'll never understand him.

i guess i can tone it down and at least focus my interest on situations that are a good use of my energy or can benefit someone. i'll try. but i still believe that there is credence in the saying, the truth will set you free. or maybe that's a big fat lie and i've been chasing after something that doesn't even really exist. i mean, the truth changes every second. what was true yesterday isn't necessarily true today. so maybe there is no truth. why do people believe that? and is it okay for them ... ah. shoot. man, old habits die hard.


  1. maybe I didn't read this before but it is quite excellent...and yes, I think that the truth wil set you free...but it might piss you off first. i would prefer to know that my version of "im not good enough for him" is for a reason...not that i am actually not good enough for him, but because he didn't feel it, had someone else, was too fucked up from a prior relationship. felt too fat, was drinking...whatever it may be. "him" not being anyone in particular really, but the series of friends, lovers, family members who can't explain why they treat you shitty. i am very much of the school of thought that the unknown will make you crazy...sometimes you have to accept it, but other times, the simple (or complex) process of seeking the answer can be the answer in itself. the following quote can be applied to seeking answers and the need to know: it's not the journey it's the destination.

    sometimes, it really is not the final answer, it's the process of getting there

    ya feel me soulmate?!

  2. commenting half's not the's the journey :)


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