“Fairytales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.” – Neil Gaiman
I am considered to be in my late twenties now. How did that even happen? Does that make me qualified to tell people about how to find themselves? It probably doesn’t. Does it even mean that I have found out who I am? Yeah, it doesn’t mean that either. Why write this? Because somewhere out there, someone is asking them the same questions I ask myself every day. Maybe this will reach them. Maybe it will give insight to someone out there as to what fights exist when we are searching for ourselves whether you are a pre-teen, teen, or middle-aged or later.
As the title says I have narrowed down an extensive list about finding myself down to five things!
I was inspired to write this after realizing that five years ago, I packed everything that I could fit into my car, a 1999 black Pontiac Bonneville that I affectionally called Clyde, and I moved. I started a journey from the Keystone State to Sunshine State in an effort to find myself.
I had become resentful of the small town I lived in; feeling suffocated and lacking opportunities. I did the first thing that popped into my head. I moved over a thousand miles away. I had friends here already, but for the most part, I was starting over.
There are in no particular order, but let’s get started on what the five things I have learned about finding myself.
5. It’s okay to be afraid. As cliche as that sounds, it really is okay. The best results I have had in my life at one point were a decision that terrified me. Online dating? I have now been dating a man I met off the internet for 4.5 years and he is the love of my life. Applying for a job that you might not feel qualified for? The worst they can say is no. I have had my fair share of applications, rejections, and successes. The most rewarding jobs were jobs I was scared to take. I live on the cusp of fear and confidence meeting one another; never knowing which side I am treading on.
4. There are no regrets. You might feel like you are regretting something, some moment, some choice in your life. But remember, at one point, it was exactly what you wanted. In movies, those are pivotal moments for main characters propelling them forward into their story and their climax in their timeline. I have found myself regretting a recent decision, but the more I have talked it out, the more I realize I don’t regret it. That point in my life is going to be a separate blog entry, but it got me to ask questions about my future. Which leads me to …
3. Ask questions. Ask yourself questions. Ask others questions. These will help you out so much. I have found myself recently asking myself what I want out of this life, where do I really see myself in five years, and what roads do I need to take to get there. Ask other people questions. I have met some genuinely interesting people and finding out about their lives helps you to parallel what they are teaching you to your own life. What you learn from others and what you hear from others can teach you more about yourself than you think.
2. Asking for help doesn’t make you weak. I thought that finding myself was a journey I had to take alone. That no one would be there to help me put together the pieces except for me. I thought to myself that it was no one else’s obligation to help me find out who I was. But guess what? People want to help. People want to be there for you. People want to teach you about yourself. I have asked for help more recently. I have become less stubborn. I have opened my heart more to asking for help.
and last, but not least
1. You will always be finding yourself. There is no particular grand finale of finding yourself and that is the best thing I have learned. I thought I would have an AH-HA moment. I thought that there was some sort of beauty in knowing every nook and cranny in my being and in my soul. There isn’t. The beauty I have found is rediscovering myself around every turn, every heartbreak, every disappoint, and in every joy and sadness that does exist.
I am 27, unemployed at the moment, finding myself and still breathing. That is beautiful. There is beauty in the journey, even when it feels like there is none.
If you are fighting to find yourself, to believe in yourself, or to even find the strength to keep going on this journey – know that you are not alone. At 27, I haven’t found myself. I have only just begun. Everything is leading me somewhere. And every moment will lead you to the next.
With Love from the Sunshine State,