Does anyone else have major problems getting lost? Well, if there is one thing I’m good at, that’s it. If you ever need to not know where you are, come find me. I can accomplish that in about two and half seconds! I invariably seem to end up places that I don’t mean to go and sometimes it can get me into trouble… big trouble (cue the time I almost got beat up after getting dropped off at Skid Row by a directionally-challenged taxi cab driver – I hope he’s reading this). Getting lost in life is never easy – it’s when I feel my most vulnerable or afraid. But I realized that these “wandering aimlessly” experiences might have been the very things that helped me find myself; they are the ones that saved me.
Now don’t get me wrong, getting lost in the Sahara desert is most likely not going to end well. But what about getting “lost” in other aspects of life? Careers, relationships, or overall attitudes? Sometimes, this is just what we need in order to find what we are looking for, hidden beneath all the layers of life and decisions and pain and wonder.
Let’s dive a little deeper and talk a little less literally (say that ten times)… After high school, I decided to attend community college because I had no idea what I wanted to be. There were three options in my family: 1) high tech genius 2) engineer 3) doctor. Scanning through the coursework, I was lost. I had NO interest in any of these careers, and I couldn’t have been more confused or frightened. I decided to focus on the general ed classes and explore some hobbies. A classmate was hosting a fashion show and she asked me to step in as a last-minute model. What? Model…? I thought. I was SO shy growing up, that my highschool marked me as absent half of my Senior year because I was too afraid to raise my hand during roll call. THAT’s how bad it was. So, if you can imagine your own terror to model… times it by ten and that was mine.
At the end of the day, I know that my final destination in life is to be at a place where I have inspired people. I want someone to tell me that because of me, they didn’t give up. Yes, I still try to take the straight and narrow path, but I usually end up zigzagging along the way. I never know which prong to take at the fork in the road and sometimes I follow cookie crumbs off the beaten path. I know that my journey is not GPS calculated (and frankly, thank goodness – I can barely keep up with Waze). I know that my inability to stay on track all the time does not hinder my growth, it actually forces me to be even better. Remember, being lost can be scary and confusing, but it can also open you up to the unexpected. When I don’t know where I am or who I am, that’s when I discover the most. When I am in the most pain, that is when I appreciate the most.