During our retreats in high school,we were made to answer questions. According to my parents, it is but normal to have questions since we were at a point when we should be deciding what our roles in life would be. Mainly.. what to take in college. Whatever we did take in college was supposed to ‘set us up’ for the future.

After I graduated college, I realized that not only was I still asking the same questions, the list kept growing. My mother would tell me “I don’t know about you, but I already knew what my direction in life would be and how I want my life would be by the time I was 12.” I then believed that I was the ‘confused one’. My brother would always look at me and go, “why do you have so many questions? why do you have to ask yourself all these questions?” I told him it is because “I do not want to doubt myself and I want to know why I do the things I do.”

A few years after, I met my ex-husband who never asked a question at all. I thought this was good. His reasoning was, “you think too much.” What I didn’t know was I would slowly stop questioning life and reason in general as the relationship progressed. By our 5th year, I no longer asked questions, I just went through the motions of life. That was when I realized that, I felt dead and I wasn’t even six feet under yet. I was terrified. I was empty, I felt empty but I was not content nor at peace.

By the time I separated, not only did the list grew in size, but I had nobody to talk to regarding this. Nobody likes questions. It’s confusing. In a way, it even makes you doubt yourself when there was none. So I went through in life, still asking questions, wondering what was wrong with me. I was already in my 30s [yes…am old] and I was still asking questions that any teen-ager would’ve answered by the time they get to college.

That was until my 7 year old son started asking my questions. Not only did he ask “my questions”, he added onto them. That was when I realized I was taught never to ask questions. Questions just rocked the boat. As my son and I answered his questions, I found out that our world didn’t change, our points of view did.

He never stopped asking [something that also drives me insane now…aside from his taste in music]. In fact I always encouraged him to ask questions. In doing so, we end up answering them..and as we kept answering, we found out the truth in everything we experienced – even in the things and topics we take for granted.

Now asking questions has become a habit as well as answering them. This goes for my son, my partner, and all of my friends. I have slowly, learned to live with the questions and appreciate them for the way they rock my world. The list has grown and perhaps once I reach 40, this list would’ve doubled. All I know is that it helped me define my life..as it is helping my son define his too. So these are the questions..that I am now sharing with you.

“What if?”

“What if I said YES?”

“What if I said NO?”

“What if I did not need to be liked by anyone?”

“How do I want to Be right now?”

“If not now, when?”

“What if I really could?”

“What am I resisting?”

“Is this who I am?”

“What would love do now?”

“Is anything I fear ever happening right NOW?”

“What will you do? when will you do it?”

“Which part of me is in charge of me right now?”

“What is stopping me?”

“What if I were less hard on myself what would I do?”

“Am I being true to myself?”

“What do I wish to release?”

“What if I could?”

“What is next?”

“What if nothing happens by accident and there is no such thing as random coincidence?”

“What/Where is the opportunity in this problem?”

“What, at this exact moment, is lacking?”

“How would I respond to anger if all anger is a call for help?”

“What do you want?”

“How many more times?”

“Which choice would I make now if I believed that I could not make a mistake no matter what I choose?”

“Could I be fully happy even if everything stayed exactly as it now is for the rest of my life?”

“What is the question for which my life is the answer?”

(written 2009)

About the Author

My grandma used to cook this dish every time I got sick. She cooks the soupy kind, put it in a bowl...

I got Chef Aleth Ocampo’s taba ng talangka bottle in the fridge. Was wondering what I could cook and...

I am not a chef. I didn’t even take up cooking – well I did in high school, but that doesn’t...