11 Oct On Being Lost And Finding Your Way
The feeling of “being lost” is one that many young people, and even older people, experience in their lives. Being uncertain about the way ahead, being unhappy in certain areas of life or feeling as if you’re just not in the right place, can be overwhelming and all-consuming. But it’s important to know that you’re not alone in this feeling. Chandre, our graphic designer, shares her experience with feeling lost and learning to find her way.
I lost my dream job back in 2020. I was finally finding my feet, getting a clear vision of what I wanted in my career and then in what felt like an instant, it was gone. The pandemic impacted most industries and like many other people around the world, I found myself without a job. To say I was devastated is an understatement. I spent days crying because something I worked years for, got taken away in a very crappy situation that was out of my control. A month or two after that, I started working with Celeste and Bold Curiosity on a few graphic design projects. My background is in journalism and I dabbled in art but never really considered doing it as a means of income.
So here I was a former journalist trying to convince myself that I could pursue illustration. But in all honesty, I didn’t really believe it or believe in myself. My self-confidence was shattered and I felt lost. I felt like I had no direction or purpose. And to make matters worse, my brain kept telling me that I was the only one who didn’t have everything figured out. It seemed like the people around me were bouncing back and here I was lost, confused, hurt and completely unsure about my future. Since 2020, I’ve spent the last two years ebbing and flowing through this ‘lost’ feeling. I’ve journaled, listened to podcasts, read books, and watched countless TikToks and YouTube videos and here’s what I learned:
First of all, you’re not alone
One of the things that have really helped on my journey of feeling lost, is realising that many many people feel the same way or have felt the same way. And there’s so much comfort in knowing you’re not alone in feeling an overwhelming emotion. There’s nothing wrong with you for feeling lost and it doesn’t mean you won’t ever find your way out of that feeling. Looking at how other people have dealt with what you’re going through can help you find clues and techniques for figuring out your own way.
You might not be alone but it would be a good idea to have some alone time
I mentioned that I battled with comparing myself to others and I found that what really helped me confront this was actually spending some time with myself. When we constantly compare ourselves to others, we can forget to focus on ourselves and what we want. Spending some time with yourself and discovering what you want for your life is best done by yourself. Now that’s not to say completely isolate yourself, we can learn from others and they can inspire us but we don’t have to be exactly like them or do things the way they do, it’s okay to be you.
Journaling, research and self-discovery are great but when it’s time to put in action, do it. Go out and do the things you wish to do. During these two years, I’ve discovered new hobbies, rediscovered old passions and learned so much, none of which would have been possible if I listened to fear or stayed in my comfort zone. Being lost gives you a chance to experience adventure, embrace it!
Reach out for help
Remember when I said you’re not alone? Well, I meant it. Talk to people that you trust, find yourself a mentor or chat with a professional like a therapist or a life coach. There’s no shame in feeling lost or needing to figure out your way forward, and there’s certainly no shame in needing help to do so. You’re navigating difficult feelings, so have some grace with yourself and be kind to your mind and body.
One of my favourite songs has a line that says “to lose your path is a way to find a path” and I feel that this has been true for me when I allow it to be. Without feeling lost I would have never found other avenues I’m passionate about or learned that I’m more creative than I gave myself credit for. Being lost can be a wonderful way to find unexpected, beautiful and uncharted paths, you just have to be willing to not give up.