Phạm Đức Huy

not knowing

An introspective entry; my thoughts on the unknown, mental wounds, and how to deal with all of them.

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Posted on December 17, 2023

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I felt a terrible sense of not knowing.
It's not easy to admit that I don't know everything.
Sometimes I like to pretend that my day is perfect, there is nothing else to improve, so I can enjoy my day, even if it's incredibly obvious that I don't know everything.
Not today.
I felt, what I knew so far was just so tiny in the sea of reality that keeps unfolding itself every day, surprising me every day.
It felt futile, like being left behind, while the world rushes forward violently.
For a brief moment, I'm back to the college me again, curling against myself in a cold and dark room, feeling powerless to do anything, because it seemed I couldn’t change anything, and life was a mistake I couldn't undo.
Moments like this aren’t very common, especially since my 2017 social media protocol, but I note that they are here.
Probably this is the result of an experiment I lately took on myself: absorbing as much information as I could.
It pushed me to a new limit, and seemed to expose unhealed wounds inside.
Which is a good thing. Some work to do.

Dealing with wounds

Strategy origin

Sometimes I think I was given a second chance to live.
My 3rd year in college, I spent about 3 months trying to commit suicide, without succeeding of course. But I could very well have died. All my hope and dreams lost their meaning. In a less fortunate reality, the story would end there.
The following recovery period had an eerie sense of alternate life. It felt possible that a hypothetical higher power gave me an extended period to live a bit longer.
What was I supposed to do with it?
Anything but the self destructive path again, I concluded.

The modern approach

7 years later.
The modern me now actively seeks out wounds, as soon as I find a trace of them.
Never wait for an ideal time and space. It will never come. There can never be a truly safe space if the internal critic is in one's head.
Invite the pain to come out. Face it even in time of crisis. Take a deep breath. Say hi to it, learn its name, and tell it that it's ok to stay for a while.
As I sat and observed my on-going crisis, my pain observed my crisis with me, too. Usually, the pain becomes just another memory. And hopefully, even a friend.

The permanent seal

Healing the wound is one, solving whatever caused the wound is the next step to seal it forever.
Let’s try to examine my fear of the unknown the other night.
I always thought I have an answer to these problems before, but apparently some negative emotions were still there. It probably meant I didn’t know enough. Let’s write them down.


  • It's impossible to know everything. A person will die before they do.
  • People navigate their life by making educated guesses, sometimes flat out gambling. Some are better guessers than others, and we listen, learn from them.
  • Human likes the dream of sureness, because the reality of unsureness is a terrible permanent nightmare. A leader who can draw up vision of returning to the good old ways can command incredible power.

What I think I or any person should do:

  • Get ourselves educated, and help cultivate a culture of knowledge. Good knowledge delivers better predictions. Even if in tiny amount of time we have in inspecting the world, let's try our best to do so.
  • And in turn, knowing that having good mental strength enables me to learn incredibly fast, I think training mental resiliency is also super important.
  • Make sure our leaders are the most educated guessers we can find to do the job. Also understand that at the end of the day, they are still guessers. And be aware of anyone who promises to help return a community to a beautiful past.
My thoughts on this topic will definitely evolve with time. But the sense of helplessness now is much lessened.

Final thoughts

I started writing this to help me process my newly discovered wound. Half way through I decided to include my way to deal with it too, hopefully it can be of use to someone. Result for the quest of absorbing mass information probably will go into a future blog.
The challenge was tough. But the lesson was incredible. The desire to share my findings is strong.
If you need help, please let me know!

some interesting stuff I found:
  • freeCodeCamp just posted a 100 hour AWS bootcamp video 😱. This is a crazy amount of things they put out for free. Definitely one of the best Youtube channels I have ever seen.

Written by Human, Not by AI
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