‘It’s ok’ is a new series I’m starting where I discuss the more difficult aspects of life and travelling and hopefully help you work through the big, bad or scary things because we all need a little reassurance every now and then.
Today: It’s ok to feel lost in life
Sometimes I worry that I don’t know where I’m heading in life. I worry about it a lot. I think, in secret, we all do.
At the moment I am lucky enough to have a goal and know that I’m doing what is necessary to achieve it. I know where I’m heading in life and I’m well on my way to getting to the end of, what seems like, my never-ending dark and scary tunnel; I have more direction and plans in my life than I ever remember having and yet, for the past month I have felt completely and utterly lost. Like Alice in Wonderland when she’s walking through the forest; she wants so desperately to find her way home and yet every path she takes leads her to being and feeling more lost. And so she cries, overwhelmed by her inability to find home, not only because she IS lost but because she FEELS lost.
For the past month I have been lost in ways I couldn’t hope to describe and have shed more tears than I care to admit. Whilst I have a strong path to walk in some senses, in others, for the moment, the path is broken and I don’t have the tools to fix it. Certain things are out of my control and it both frustrates and saddens me. The logic in my head screams at me to ‘make sense of things’, to ‘sort myself out’ but my heart says something else; it tells me to feel lost and be okay with it because it’s just how things need to be for the moment. My heart explains that it’s strong enough to wait until I can fix my broken path and that it will get better just as I will; just as YOU will.
I know you’re upset at feeling lost; truly, I understand. It’s horrible. You feel like you should KNOW (in our adult age) what to do and how to ‘fix’ ourselves in times like this but sometimes you just have to accept that at the moment your feelings and heart are stronger than your head and that ultimately, your heart no doubt holds the key to feeling ‘found’ again.
Maybe you’re at Uni but feel lost or you’re in a job you hate. Maybe you feel lost simply because you’re not surrounded by good people. There are a lot of ways society can make you feel lost but it doesn’t have to stay that way. You don’t have to FEEL that way. Modern age does not like us to get lost and actually gives us very few opportunities to do it. And so occasionally we run away to get physically, mentally and spiritually lost simply so we can find our true selves again.
We buy the backpack and the plane ticket and we buy into the hope that along the way, we find ourselves once again. That we manage to answer the questions: ‘what do I want to do for the rest of my life?’, ‘where I am going in life?’, ‘who am I?’. The BIG, yet deeply personal questions. But what’s wrong with not knowing? What’s wrong with trying every job under the sun until you find the one you love? What’s wrong with taking life day by day and waking up each day not knowing your physical or mental direction? What’s wrong with spending your entire life learning who you really are?
Whenever I get lost or fear I’m lost, I remember something my Mum says: you’re never lost for long.
Sometimes you get overwhelmed by life (that’s another post for another day) and feel as though you have nowhere or no one to turn to but you do; the problem is that you are feeling so lost in a mental fog that you often can’t see what’s right in front of your face; YOU! Ultimately you are the one who has the power to find your direction, your path if you will, and walk it strongly. We can’t walk your path for you. We can’t live your life or fulfil your dreams because that is something you need to do for yourself but we CAN show you our paths in the hope that it will inspire you. We CAN help you build your path and we CAN walk that path with you, hand in hand, reassuring you that everything will be ok.
But for the moment, you’re lost and that’s ok. Truly. You’re not alone. We’ve all been, are going through or will be feeling lost at some point in our lives and the only thing you have to remember is this: It’s ok to feel lost in life. None of us have all the answers to our hearts and minds. Though others may seem to be more ‘together’ than you, we all struggle on our own levels, we just don’t always admit it out loud.
(for anyone that has read my story, apologies if you feel I am repeating myself) In 2010, six weeks before I was due to backpack solo around Asia for three months, I suffered a miscarriage (not knowing I had been pregnant) and my world collapsed. To say I felt lost would be a vast understatement. Despite crying my way through security, I got on the plane and although I had some happy times, I really didn’t enjoy myself (I’ve never admitted that to anyone apart from myself). I had moments that filled my soul with unadulterated happiness and I was the most care free I could ever remember feeling and yet, in the middle of a hotel room the night before learning to dive, I cried until I passed out; feeling so small and lost in this gigantic world of ours. I spent more nights in hotels than hostels in those three months just so I could be alone and would lie on a beach watching the sun set as silent tears rolled down my cheeks despite being surrounded by happiness. I had no direction in my heart, mind or life until I realised that I had had it all along; I just hadn’t seen it…my love of writing and helping people had been in me all along; I was the thing that was right in front of my face!
Will I find a job that utilises my path? Who knows. But even outside of work, I can still walk my personal path strongly. Maybe, like me, all you need to do is find the key that opens the door to your path. For me it was travelling because I NEEDED to not because I wanted to. Maybe your key is discovering a hobby can be turned into a passion and a job, realising you are trying to follow other peoples dreams for you instead of your own or the simple realisation that actually, you’re pretty happy with your life and need something only temporary to lift you.
But if you can’t find your key for now; don’t worry…you can borrow mine. You can walk my path a little and see how you feel. Maybe it will show you which path you DON’T want instead of the one you do; both result in a clearer direction for you but remember this; it’s ok to feel lost in life. It doesn’t last, it can be fixed and you’re not alone.
When you find your key and you’re ready to go through the door, I will walk that path with you, hand in hand, reassuring you that everything will be ok in the end.
You’re never lost for long.