Recently, a friend said something to me that keeps echoing in my mind:
“I’m lost Tasha, and I have been for a long time. I don’t even know who I am.”
And the only thing I could think of to say back was, “We all are.”
Because we are, aren’t we?
Both individually and collectively…
Everyone loses themselves at different points in their lives but being aware of that puts my friend ahead of the game.
If we don’t know we’re lost, we’ll continue on the same path and end up even further from where we’re supposed to be. But if we know we’re going the wrong way, we can turn in the right direction and find our way again.
I’ve been lost many times, both literally and figuratively. In a sense, they’re quite similar. When you’re lost in a literal way, you look for landmarks or ask for help and once you’ve changed course, you’ll never get lost in the same place because it’s familiar now.
Likewise in life, once we move past that feeling of being in the wrong place or with the wrong people or in the wrong life, we will never return to that same state of being again. Once we’ve realized something isn’t working for us, we move on because we’ve learned the lesson.
We often only realize we are lost once we’ve reached the end of something—like a breakup or the loss of a job. Then, we’re trying to find who we are apart from something that once defined us. But occasionally, we realize we’re lost in the middle of everything, and we have no idea how to get out of it.
We feel stuck.
Change is scary.
What if we leave something and miss it? What if we can’t go back? What if we ruin something good just because we weren’t in a good place internally?
All of those questions are valid, and there are no wrong answers. Life isn’t a one-size-fits-all kind of thing. It looks different for everyone. One person will feel completely content in a situation where someone else would feel like a prisoner.
And truly, we are the only ones who know what’s right for us.
The problem is that we have everyone else’s thoughts, feelings, and opinions in our heads 24/7. That’s why people lose their way or fail to ever find it in the first place. They listened to everyone else and ignored their own voice.
We all grow up being told that we must do certain things and can’t do other things as we are molded into a cookie-cutter version of everyone around us. We try to fit in and belong but sometimes that’s what kills the best version of us.
Too many people are concerned with how their life looks on the outside that they don’t even realize it doesn’t feel good on the inside.
This is a societal problem.
Everything is geared to make us place a high value on material objects and appearances. Advertising, marketing, social media, and even our friends and family teach us this. We idolize strangers because of what they have and how they look when none of it matters.
We work ourselves to death chasing after goals and status symbols that are unfulfilling once we reach them. Humans still haven’t realized that having nice things doesn’t make us happier. Happiness cannot be bought; it has to be made—on the inside. And if we’re doing what we’re doing just to buy more stuff, we’re never going to get there. We have to actually enjoy our lives to be happy.
The problem is that we’ve gotten so far off the path that I don’t know if we can find our way back. The world revolves around material objects and has been running on greed and power for so long that it may be irreversible.
But while we may not be able to change the world, we can change ourselves. And the more that people find out who they are beneath everything the world tells them to be, the better we all can become.
So, let’s start there and be honest with ourselves.
Let’s figure out who we are, what brings us joy, and where we hope to end up on this journey.
None of us are here to just pay bills and die. We all have a purpose and a reason for living.