Questions with no answers

Adrian de León
3 min readDec 8, 2022

I’m staring at this blank “sheet” of paper — this virtual white canvas glaring back at me, taunting me with its vagueness. This page has been sitting in front of me not for minutes, nor hours, but for a lifetime. It is a blank page that will always appear as I try to make sense of what my childhood meant and what my relationship with this childhood means now. If my life was a YouTube video, what would the time stamps mean as individual events or as a culmination of my experience? Can failures and successes be put through the meat grinder of reductionism and be turned into a mince of parental, or lack thereof, love and nurturing? How deterministic is our life? How far does the apple fall from the tree? These are the sort of questions you don’t tend to ask yourself if your childhood seemed rosy even without any tinted glasses. On the other hand, if your childhood is a hazy affair, one in which you tend not to draw too much energy from, then these questions haunt you on the daily.

Whether you ask yourself these questions, or someone asks these questions to you, their formulation isn’t the issue. The issue is that for most of these questions there are no answers. Some questions are asked to weave out information, others are pronounced to create a connection between people. These are not questions for action, these are questions for self-reflection. Many people refuse to ask themselves these very questions, sometimes because the answers may be too damaging. Unfortunately, most of the time, we do not ask ourselves these questions because there is no answer. You can spend a lifetime on determining whether who you are, what you were once were, or why you do what you do is a product of your own free will or nothing but an unavoidable consequence of a lifetime of events. Humans have never quite known the answer to these questions so it seeked answers in something less scary, something more abstract, but yet easier to believe in. Across cultures and civilisations, this abstract idea, whether it be the elements, the gods with a capital or small ‘g’, or the economy, has taken centre stage in the way we conduct our lives. After all, the greatest philosophers are those who have dedicated their lives to answering external questions, perhaps never quite understanding who they were in the first place.

Looking back without quite knowing if what you remember is the truth or just part of a mechanism that your brain (an item that is possessive yet without having any control over it) is a daunting realisation. You conjure an image and a…