But Why? Why Asking Ourselves Questions is Important.

November 4, 2014

“Have we established that questions are marvelous, momentous things?… That asking ourselves the right ones can have life-altering effects?”

It had been 9 months since we had broken up; a break up that took a long time to move forward from. And then he was back. He missed me. He wanted to try again. I wanted to try again. So we were going to try again but it didn’t take long to figure out that he wanted to try again in the way that suited him best. He wasn’t doing it to be a jerk, he really wasn’t’, he just has his own life to think about. He was busy taking over his father’s business and we were still young, in our mid-twenties. He wanted something more relaxed and I wanted something else. I asked myself, Am I settling for something less, just to stay with him again? I knew the answer.

I broke it off a few weeks later.

Years later, when Husband (then Boyfriend) and I had been together for 4 years and had just finished answering many questions that were floating heavily around our relationship, another question arose to trump all of the other questions: If we were, indeed, having a baby, would we still move abroad? We weren’t sure of the answer but sometimes all you need to start the conversation is the question.

Questions are an important part of our learning process, aren’t they?

As teachers we ask students questions to see if they know the answers or to, at least, lead them in a direction. As parents we want our kids to ask themselves questions (Do you think that’s fair? Do you think your sister liked that? What would you do differently?) as a way for them to reach their own conclusions. And when we, ourselves, were kids we were full of questions because we were humble enough to know that we didn’t know it all so we asked a question followed by another question and then three more questions until

we arrived at an answer we were happy with. As kids we asked about kid things and it helped us learn and grow and understand the world around us.

So why, as adults, do we slow down with the questions. We stop asking either because we don’t have the time or because we don’t want the answers or because we know it all (or want to seem like we do). But questions are still just as important as they ever were, except now they are about adult things: Why are we here? Is this enough? Could it be better? Could there be more? We are still using questions to help us learn and grow and understand the world around us.

I question myself as a mother almost daily. I question myself as a writer and as a wife. But I haven’t been curious in a long time. I haven’t searched for answers. And maybe it’s about time, I start again.

So much of life is born out of questions because it’s this simple: questions lead to answers.

That is the point of a question, to set us on a path to find the answers we need because how can we find what we’re looking for if we don’t first ask? 

So maybe start with this question… do you want the answers? I do. Next question…

In April’s issue of O Magazine was a feature titled 20 Questions Every Woman Should Ask Themselves. I’ve decided to ask myself these questions and give a sincere try in answering them. This is question 1 of 20: Do I examine my life enough?



Photo Credits:
Ethan Lofton – Question Mark in Notebook
Duncan Hull – Question Everything

1 Comment
    1. Great post! I'm constantly asking if we could be living better/smarter/happier, etc. I'm not sure if you have experienced this, but I find that people who have made a big move (ie. us expats) are always searching for more and asking those difficult questions. ~Ree

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