I don't know.

The thing about the future is, people are always asking us about it. What are your plans? What will happen next?
From dinner chat, to party conversation, to discussions with family, those Future Questions come up, which can put a deep knot in the pit of your stomach.
When you get those questions, I challenge you to embrace the uncertainty. It is the most honest thing we can do.
Will you return to the same job next year?
I don't know.
When will you start a family?
I don't know.
What is the answer to today's tragic news?
I don't know. (Although let's really think about this one, mmmmmkay?)
If you are ill or injured, when will you feel better?
I don't know.
If you are dealing with grief or loss, when will you feel better?
I don't know.
But what if we accept uncertainty instead of fighting against it?
We value certainty. We value knowing the answers. We want to know which exact next step/life choice/philosophy is "right." Then we want to cling onto that and hang on for dear life. Sometimes that feels less scary than the alternate option: uncertainty.
When someone comes to you and wants answers - or when you come to yourself and want answers - the most powerful thing you can do is to say "I don't know."
To say "I don't know" admits vulnerability.
To say "I don't know" acknowledges that you don't have it all figured out.
To say "I don't know" accepts the fact that even though our caveman brains desire certainty, uncertainty is what we get.
The alternate option - which is to say you do have certainty about the future - is to know the unknowable.
When we say we do have our future plans figured out, we tend to underestimate the transient nature of life and how quickly things change. Nothing is forever. We are all on this planet, spinning round and round, in a constant state of transient moments.
Acknowledging this uncertainty by saying I don't know is the first step. I don't know means there's some sort of change brewing. Change can be hard. Change takes time. I don't know is accepting that we don't control everything around us. It is accepting the things we can change, knowing when change needs to happen, and giving ourselves time to think it through.
I don't know can mean that we aren't happy with things as we are. We know something needs to change, but we aren't sure what that is. Yet. I don't know doesn't need to be a place of fear. It can be a place of acceptance and comfort. Because like it or not, change is always brewing. We'll keep traveling the path, more change will happen, and things will - one day - be clearer than they are now.
I don't know is a good place to be. It is an honest place to be. If that is where you find yourself right now, it is just where you need to be in this moment. That is not an excuse to stop changing, stop finding new information, or to stop trying. Instead, it is an acknowledgement that change starts somewhere. That somewhere is this, an admission: I don't know.