I ask a lot of questions, both of myself and others. I’m fascinated by the “why” of life. Why the universe works the way it does. Why people make the decisions they do. Why people have the views they do. I’m just really curious, particularly about people who live very different lives than I do. So, I ask questions.
Surprisingly, the two most impactful questions I’ve ever asked were not “why” questions. It is hard to decide which of these two questions has had the largest impact on my life. One of them has had a very tangible, direct impact on the direction of my life while the other is less tangible and more abstract.
The first question was asking my partner, “Do you want to go on a multi-year bicycle ride across the country with me?” She said yes without hesitation. She was willing to quit her good job and ride around with no guaranteed source of income or experience with bike touring. She was committed to not knowing where we would sleep at night, where we would get food or water, or where we would shower. It was at that moment that I knew I would propose and I knew she would say yes. Asking her to marry me was pretty much just a formality and didn’t really change anything.
The second question, the more abstract one, is constantly asking myself, “Are you sure this is true?”. More often than not the answer is “no”, and that is awesome. Not knowing has encouraged me to read more, experience more, and approach all institutions who claim a monopoly on truth with skepticism. My politics, veganism, spiritual views, sexuality, and a plethora of other things all come back to that foundational question, “Am I sure it is true?”
This question is where foundational principles help guide my life. (Am I sure those foundational principles are true? Nope.) By committing my life to harm reduction and peace then I come to the conclusion that veganism, drug legalization, libertarianism, etc. are the right views for me. I don’t know where I’d be without this question, I’d probably believe the same things that my parents believe, which would be a cause for concern because it likely means I didn’t question anything thoroughly.
Questions are the foundation of my life and many of them are unanswerable. But that’s okay. The unknown is what makes life beautiful and keeps my curiosity brewing.
Wanna stay in touch? Got a question for me? Want to tell me why I’m wrong and are curious how I got everything so backward? Have an idea for a blog post? Drunk and wanna send me a Snapchat? Wanna become penpals and send each other letters in the mail?
Feel free to reach out at any of the ways below while I take a Facebook break!
Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Questions: pneiger.sarahah.com or www.surveymonkey.com/r/XYRDXHH
Also, I wrote a book about a cross-country bicycle ride I did!
“Wandering Oak: A Rite of Passage”