An Open Letter to People Who Feel Lost.
You’ve made a lot of changes in your life in this past year, or two, and because of this it’s really easy to feel confused and lost within it all. From these changes you’re learning new things about the world around you and about yourself that you may not like or want. You are going to feel like you’re incredibly lost and maybe even bitterly alone.
That feeling, I can assure you, is purpose trying to find its place.
Right now, you’re probably realizing that you are a bit broken.
Chances are, you think that your parents play a big role in that. Their expectations, the city they raised you in, the choices they made for you. The pain they gave to you.
It took me four years away from home — in different cities around the world, to learn that the pain and depression that I was carrying was not my own.
You will realize, too, that the pain inside of you belongs to the people whom you love.
You may learn that you are miserable because you allowed your father to be hurtful and hard on you, thinking it was tough love. You may notice that you are miserable because you and your mother have never been closer than strangers or old friends, and you’ve spent years wondering why she didn’t love you in the ways you needed her too. Maybe you’re miserable because you lost a deep love who looked to you for help that you couldn’t give.
Or maybe you’re miserable because you can’t find the reason you’re suffering — all you know is that you’re lost in the sea of pain and pressure that your days have given to you. You’re going for drives or taking 30 minute showers so that you can cry without being heard. You’re ignoring calls and hanging up on your friends because your misdirected anger is taking over your life. You finally realize that you have spent so long working towards goals, ideas, and dreams that you didn’t even want to accomplish and it feels like you’re wasting your life.
What I’ve learned is that sometimes this pain that we feel is misguided purpose trying to get our attention. When we hurt like this it’s time to change something — to change how we think, to grow passed who we are in this moment.
You have no idea what you will achieved in your life. And if right now, your suffering is telling you that this isn’t right for you, listen to it. And if the pain you’re carrying isn’t your own, thank it for making you stronger, but let it go.
Im not saying that your life will ever get easier, but you will get better at the things you are doing. And if you don’t want them anymore, you can change anything at any time. Working 9 to 5 likely isn’t the problem — it’s the nature of the work. You will never feel like you are wasting your time if you are doing what you love. Being in university isn’t the problem — it’s your program. If somebody tells you that your degree is useless, let them know that their attitude is what’s truly useless to you. Study the things that interest you and spark joy and excitement because, despite what anybody thinks, you can do anything with what you know. And you’ve already done so much and survived so much, all of the little things you’ve overcome are only preparing you for the big challenges.
As for your identity — who you are is found when you remove all the people telling you who or what you could/should be. When you are a complete stranger in a place where you have to introduce yourself to somebody knew everyday, you learn what parts of yourself you are willing to give to others. At the same time, you will truly learn who you are by what others, complete strangers, constantly see in you.
The qualities of my true self were found by everyone new that I met without me having to talk about them and that’s an incredible feeling. To my surprise, it was a kind, creative, and charming person that they saw — which was almost a completely different opinion than the people who were in my immediate circle, who only saw a bitter, neglecting person suffering greatly from her self-inflicted circumstances. The person I am now would be unrecognizable to the person I used to be. Thank God.
But getting to this point was not easy. It took space, literally, to make room for myself. So I encourage you to do the same — take all your broken and misplaces pieces and lay them on the floor of a room only you have access too. Declutter your bits and bops, take all the experiences, talents, interests, mistakes — everything, and lay it on the floor, bare and exposed. Next, pick up what matters most, the parts that you can’t live without. Then leave the room with only those parts in your possession.
Here you are, holding what matters most with nothing but room for you to start the life that you want.
Remember, you are not lost. You are just a bundle of misplaced purpose trying to find the room to grow.