In the Middle of Nowhere
- Pages: 7
- Word count: 1681
- Category: Regret
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Rebecca Solnit stated in her writing, “Open Door” that: “Lost really have two disparate meaning. Losing things is about the familiar falling away, getting lost is about the unfamiliar appearing.” I have lost myself hundreds or maybe thousands of times. For me, losing yourself is like you are adding or overwriting your identity, you are asking yourself questions which you had never considered. I realized I have lost myself when one morning I waked up, looked in the mirror and found myself wondering what I have done for the whole time. At that moment, from a relatively self-confident individual, I became a person who doubting my own competence and capabilities just in a flash. It was 3 months after I came to the United States that I lost. Around that time, I had no idea what was going on with me and why I did not feel like myself. I closed up to a certain degree and did not want to show the world exactly who I am. Things I enjoyed became less enjoyable, I felt awful a lot of time up and down.
Something in my life felt so different, I was scared and confused within myself. I constantly hided my sadness, fear and decided to be strong alone. I was not happy or be able to smile or laugh freely without lying about it. Different from other international students, I found myself get along well with the changes, I was able to make friends quickly, had amazing grades and gained good impression from others. It was one of the best time that I have ever had. I thought I finally found myself, the version that I have spent times looking for, here in Seattle like Pico Iyer once said: “Every trip to a foreign country can be a love affair, where you’re left puzzling over who you are and whom you’ve fallen in love with.”.
We, people, are an evolution. And the fact of being in a new places, a part from my parents really help me to improve myself, I was able to complete things that before I thought I could never make it. I felt much more mature and learned that I had responsibilities with each of decision that I made. In a positive way, I lost myself when I tried to do differently from what I used to and I found myself be more independent, thoughtful and responsible as Iyer mentions in his article that: “We travel, initially, to lose ourselves; and we travel, next, to find ourselves.”. But I soon realized every story has two sides, I have a little of impressionable in my personality and the fact that I adapted changes quickly totally transformed me into another person. From that, I could not recognize the old me whenever I looked back. I know that it is always the worst feeling ever to doubt your own though, your goal and feels unsure of your identity.
Elif Batuman quoted a French intellectual’s idea in her essay: ‘People stick with whatever metaphysical system they grew up with.’, for me, this means no matter whatever happens in the life but when it came to a decision, deep inside, they are attached with what they are familiar with. That is me, although I have changed a lot in my worldview, I had different perspective about many problems, I became much more independent than I used to be but when something happened not in the way that I want, I would close myself, refuse to expose my pain, keep it with me and gnaw it alone. A question then popped into my head, can people at the same time be themselves and try to find themselves? Able to be ourselves is like a battle of a lifetime and people, amongst all ages, sometimes might have to struggle their whole life if they want to be a winner. When you are lost, somehow you have lost your purpose of living and I was lost at that moment, completely lost with no clue how to go back. ‘What is my goal’, I asked myself but I could not find the answer. I felt fulfilled and safe about my life but over time I realize those feelings were confined my true feeling, I felt empty. I started walking without any idea where I was going and my surrounding was pointless.
The stagnancy of feelings was destroying my spirit, I was unsure and did not know what I want to do with my life. There were many difficult moments, moments I thought I would not make it. I was lost and made mistake after mistake, which guide me to the exact direction I was meant to go. I do not regret any of that, because all of the wrong choices led me to the right place, every step of the way. I was walking down the tunnel without a flashlight. I was looking for confining, absolute ideas about how a person should be and all I could feel was the emptiness in my mind and heart. I then asked myself: what do I really like to do? I was scared at first but I decided to follow my heart. I wanted to see who am I and hoped that I could find a purpose for my life. I became a beginner again, I did every activity that I have not tried before, I learned myself a lot more through observing my response to unfamiliar situations. Finding yourself does not always mean defining yourself. The whole point of the journey of finding yourself was accepting yourself.
Look deep inside your heart and listen to it to find an answer, although sometimes your answers may not be the answers you want, it might be the answer you need. What matters is your encouragement, not others’ discouragement. This is your life and it would be a regret if you cannot discover yourself. I was not only lost but I was also losing myself intentionally, Solnit claims that: “It’s not about being lost but about trying to lose yourself.”, I was trying hard to find way back but end up with losing myself. I was lost without any preparation, I cannot say it was good or bad but it was an experience which worth a try. Everything should have a limitation and so is get lost. It is a refreshment of mind after every time you lost yourself and this should only happened in a certain of time. If you lost track of yourself repeatedly, it might come with a serious consequences and can cause negative effect to your life. Every coin has two side, things only good when it in control, you might end up killing yourself because of pessimistic thoughts in your head.
Losing yourself can trigger your self-discovery, new blank spaces, and set questions in mind. It is your choice to choose if you want to rush to fill them with new answers or wait to see where they can take you. I, myself, always want to find experiences which although might not be an answer to my question, at least it should be totally different from who I am. Then, in the end, I can be improved from what I have learned and be more appreciate of what I have had. I allowed myself to be a better person, who is growing, evolving and trying to be different me tomorrow than I am today and most important, to be a better version of me instead of trying to be someone else. You cannot discover yourself unless you look for yourself, so get lost. My experience with losing myself can sometimes be either terrible or wonderful but regardless of that, I admitted I love being lost. It was a experience for me that full of poetic and artistic.
I am a daydreamer and the fact that get lost in my mind benefit me in the way of expanding my imagination. I am not running away from the reality but getting lost is like playing a memory tape, where you can learn from your mistake, taking pieces from your mistake and eventually improve yourself from that. I sometimes sit down and list out all the events that made me lost, from that, I write down what I learned from that events. Although events were not listed in order and sometimes it just a small one that happened and ended quickly, still all events matters. I have never thought about all the times I have lost myself without thinking that : “Is it true that be able to existence we need to get lost?”. I have experience getting lost without knowing that I was lost, I simplify the lost process just by thinking that it basically a transformation of yourself.
Self-discovery requires getting lost and that is how people learn about themselves, how they become. Life is not a straight line and if it went exactly as you planned or wanted, you would not change because you do not need to. Eventually, your life would just be accomplishing goals without the internal change, and without that changes factor, there is no fulfillment or meaning. Ourselves cannot be defined by things that we do, believe in who we are will restrict you from discover yourself. Who we really are and what we can do is always beyond our limitation. We are our existence, our awareness and our consciousness. Losing yourself can be a terrible experience which is filled with confusion, anxiety, and worry. Although it might destroy your confidence and leave you with nothing but a depressed in feeling, it is still a beautiful experience in the end.
The moment you fight your anxious thinking and struggle to find out the version of yourself that you have worked hard to become is a moment to be proud of. We don’t always realize this, but sometimes the only one who can bring you back to reality when you’re losing yourself is you. And the sooner you understand that, the easier it will come, like Solnit quotes Sallie’s friend Landon on: ‘the key to survival is knowing you’re lost’.