“She remembered who she was, and the game changed”
In the world we live in, there are a million ways to lose yourself – kids, a job, a significant other, busy-ness. I can honestly say that I have managed to lose myself in each item of that list and it’s taken time to come full circle. Your teenage years are chaos as you try to figure out what it means to be an adult. Your twenties are full of thinking you have it figured it out and realizing that the world isn’t as simple as it once seemed. Staring my thirties in the face now, I am realizing that the only thing I know is that I want to be open to change. I want to embrace it.
Caution: There is a danger in wanting to always be open to change. You can find yourself unable to settle into anything. You always change your hair, your house, your car, your shoes, your face wash! There is beauty in the longevity and consistency of staples in your life. Allow yourself to enjoy what is stable but don’t cling to it with white knuckles and define your persona through that stability. Control what you can control and learn to let the rest go. The stability is meant to come from knowing who you are.
Finding yourself doesn’t mean ignoring the other things that are important to who you are. My son is a huge part of who I am, but he doesn’t define me. What he thinks of me, what parents think of me, what other family thinks of me, doesn’t define me. I have to remind myself often that I am not responsible for the opinions of others or their view of my life. It doesn’t matter if that friend from high school thinks that you are successful. The way others view your successes or failures does not define you.
How do you find yourself?
- Sit with your thoughts
- Listen to those you trust
- Try something knew
- Know your weaknesses
- Do something you love
Sit with your thoughts
Sitting with your thoughts is by the far the hardest out of these for me. I don’t like to sit still. I will purposefully have a million things going so I don’t have the option to even sit still. Sitting still forces your body to catch up. To relax. To process. To unwind. Take the time to really think about what you want and what you need.
Listen to those you trust
Over the years, I am finding that there are things I wish I had listened to. Don’t get me wrong. It doesn’t make it a regret. But there were times across the board that people I love and trust tried to show me an easier way and I didn’t listen. I am still working on this one. Since I know myself to some extent, I don’t think the stubborn side of me is changing and this will continue to be a hard one for me.
Try something new
When trying to find yourself, stay curious. This is one that I learned from my mom and more than likely, she read it in a book. “Stay curious”. Be okay with just following what you are interested in instead of what you know. You might surprise yourself and find something you really enjoy. Worse case, you figure out something that you don’t enjoy. I took up running in the last week and not only is it sticking, I am loving it.
Know your weaknesses
Part of knowing yourself and how not to lose yourself in other things includes knowing the ways that you are most likely to sacrifice who you are and what you want. This one comes from listening to those you trust and sitting with your thoughts — allowing yourself to feel where ever you are and looking to understand how and why you got there.
Do something you love
When all else fails, do something that you love. What fuels you and gives you energy? That could be reading a book in silence, blaring music as you drive down an open road or writing way too much down in a blog. This is different for everyone, but make sure to try something new if you haven’t found what you love yet.
Part of this is knowing that you have never arrived. 2021 is another year of embracing change and knowing that the best years are ahead of us.