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Why is it so hard for most of us to ask questions? Personally, I remember sitting in class – as young as four – and all the way up through my university years – not understanding something, yet staying quiet. I was so sure I was alone in my confusion and didn’t want to be seen as “stupid” or unable to grasp what everyone else was seemingly so comfortable with. It wasn’t until a braver soul than myself would raise their hand and ask what I had also wondered that I felt any relief. It still didn’t embolden me to ask many questions though.


I wonder where this reticence to stand up, be seen and to be comfortably unsure or curious came from. I think back on my childhood, and although most people’s childhoods vary, the need to conform, “follow the rules” and “do as your told” seems to be universal. We got praised for being “good boys and girls” if we sat quietly, and shamed for any deviations from what was expected of us. Our brainwashing to accept authority as “right” and just was almost completely established by the end of kindergarten. It’s actually kind of horrifying if you think about it.

I think back on those kids who got in trouble for acting out or not following all the rules. For some it became a habit or part of their personality. Some eventually dropped out, or never quite got on well with “the system”. Oddly enough these same people seemed to see through the system better than the rest of us, although we didn’t see it that way. Our thought process was: “of course they don’t like it, they can’t get along in it”. We were wrong. They were luckier than us. They were given the gift of being able to see the matrix from outside early on. It’s taken me over 50 years to be comfortable questioning things.


Even more importantly (sadly, it’s taken me almost as long to be comfortable with this as well) I’ve learned to hear and accept differing view points without getting upset or feeling the need to argue against them or invalidate them completely. I admit, this part is still a work in progress. But all I have to do is think back to my own personal viewpoints and attitudes when I was younger and recall how they affected my appreciation for, lets say, Henry Miller. I loved his writing but stopped reading one of his books a few pages in because I didn’t like his views on our government. Or, embarrassingly but true, listening to George Carlin and thinking he was an angry man because I just didn’t see any of the truth’s he was spitting. I was so brainwashed by my upbringing and societal norms that I couldn’t even sit with a differing viewpoint and accept it could possible have some validity.


I look back on the choices I made in my 20’s. None of them were the kind that “made my parents proud”. After graduating college, instead of going on to Law School, I chose to travel, bartend, work construction, be a snowboard bum for a few seasons, all in all, reject the way I was “supposed to be” and I got out of my comfort zone. THEN I got pregnant, and chose to stay a single mom. Like those kids in school I was now outside of the “right way” to do things. I was given the gift of looking at the “have to” and “should do’s” of life from the outside and seeing them from a different viewpoint.


I continued this trend when in my 40’s I got into a 12-year relationship with Jordan Belfort. When I met him he was only known for his criminal activity. There was no movie.  The questions of my character, from friends, family and strangers for this choice again put me on the “outside”.  This reinforced my comfort with being different and not “going along” with what people expected or thought was “right”. It wasn’t easy, but all those choices continue to be a gift to me.


I don’t think a lot of people who are comfortable questioning things need to be “outside the norm of society”. I just think, for me personally, with a very proper and rigid up bringing, needed it. I admire people who question the narrative naturally from a place of awareness and intelligence. These are the people that I respect and gravitate to now.


We all are on a different time line of growth and questioning the world, as well as our lives and our purposes. Currently, I am in a place of questioning everything I have been taught to believe, as much of it appears to be a well-orchestrated lie. I don’t think everyone needs to feel this way. I do think that a discomfort to question the narrative should be questioned though. I think we all need to accept that we have been brainwashed to a certain extent and we should all question to what extent that is.

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