doubt, pt. 4


Before I fled my old social circles--that festering den of liars that I loved so much--there was a kid I dated, whose primary virtue was that he didn't seem like the rest of the people I knew. He was obsessed with uncertainty and doubt and the ephemeral nature of reality, and for some reason that was relentlessly charming, and made me want to follow him blindly wherever he wanted to lead me.

My sister laughed at me when I told her about him, because she saw herself in my descriptions of him. She said, "You can't trust people like me. We're inherently untrustworthy." And that just sounded like the sort of charmingly self-deprecating thing people like that would say, so I didn't really pay it much heed. But she said something that stuck with me.

"The best thing you can do for someone like that is to doubt them," she told me. "When you've embraced the ephemeral nature of the world we live in, the last thing you need is someone trying to make you into some sort of immovable rock."

I didn't listen, of course, because humans never listen to the good advice. But when my gossamer anchor disintegrated, suddenly the full weight of it struck me. I don't even remember this kid's name, but I do remember how important it is to give in to doubt every now and then.

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