I see women doing it all the time, for instance, when they get into new relationships, they get so wrapped in their significant other, that they forget their friends, their families, their hobbies. For all intensive purposes, they wrap themselves like a leech onto the life of another human being because they are so terrified of being alone. They no longer know who they are without that one person. How do I know so much about that? Because, at one point, I was that person. In a relationship years ago, and when that relationship ended, I felt like I had nothing, as if I were in Pompeii, wandering along the ruins and rubble. And I realized, after the relationship fell apart, that I no longer had any idea of who I was or what made me happy. I had to go on a journey of self-discovery, and find out who I was again, find out who I was without this man. What did I like to do? What did I enjoy doing? I discovered that one of my greatest passions was writing, and I sat down at my computer to prove to myself that I could commit and see something through once and for all. And although the novel remains unpublished, I still wrote it. I discovered that I enjoyed reading and volunteering and cooking and figure-skating, and teaching learn to skate. I discovered that I would be just fine on my own.
I see other people loose themselves in their jobs, so much so that the job becomes them, and then, if they loose their job, or have to find a new occupation, they no longer know who they are or what they love. You see it many times in athletes, whose careers are cut short. But a job, should never be who you are, it is a part of who you are, but not all you are. A job, should never ever define you.
I lost myself in my previous position. It stole a part of me away. And it took a while to regain my energy, my enthusiasm and my zest for life. But the minute I left the position that had stolen 18 months of my life from me, my friends and family noticed a huge change in my appetite for life.
So then, why all this talk about getting lost? Because, between taking the train and buses, I have been doing quite a bit of that in Italy. At first, I was afraid of getting lost. “What if I get lost?” “What if I miss my connection?” All these dangerous thoughts swelled up inside of me, inside of my head. But now, I relish those thoughts, actually; in fact, I welcome them with open arms. Now, it is more like, “so what if I get lost?” I no longer look at it as getting lost, I look at it as if it is a detour, as if it is simply a new direction that I am now taking. Sooner or later, I’ll find my way back. That is how one must look at life, sooner or later, no matter how lost you get, you will eventually find your way back.