Can you feel lost and not even know that you are lost? Can the life you live continuously wear you down so you don’t even feel like you are even living anymore? Can you be in such a rut that being in the rut is what almost seems “normal” to you? Can you say that you have never felt this way? I would bet that we all have at one time or another in our lives. I know I have. As I heard someone tell me recently about the daily routine that is carried out — DAY by DAY — I could almost feel myself getting stuck in that rut with her. As much as I tried to hint at what she could want to be different, I also could tell that she wasn’t ready. She was comfortable with being where she is and I know others just like her. I know what that looks like as I used to be exactly like that. For YEARS!! Nothing really got me fired up and charged my battery and if I found something, it was short-lived. A quick trip away…time on the golf course…a weekend spent shopping (not for me)…and then what happens next? Back to the same old thing. Over and over and over and over again. I am getting depressed just writing about this too. I find it very ironic that I am thinking about someone in particular and just remembered something in my office that was given to me by this same person — it is a quote on a plaque that reads, “You will never be lost if you follow your heart.” WOW!
We must take time to explore…
However, we come up with excuses. We push away the one thing that is needed in order for us to move forward. And we settle. We dismiss our natural-born instinct to learn, to venture, and to explore. Have you ever seen a child’s eyes just light up when they are being taught something new? Don’t we encourage our kids to try new things, and we even give them permission to not like some of them. But what happens to us adults? For some reason, at some point, we forget to experiment. We don’t even give ourselves permission to try. We give up long before we could have even began. No one likes feeling like we gave up, especially before we really even got going, but that is exactly what has happened.
Do you know how many things “happen” or are created because someone accidentally put a couple of things together and now that combined thing was better than the two things apart? One of the commercials I grew up with is a perfect reminder of this scenario. Now, I love chocolate and I love peanut butter, but when Reese’s put those two ingredients together to make “peanut butter cups”, an entirely new product was born. I know this commercial is a little cheesy, but the principle is the same…
Cooking is a great way to experiment!!! Were you ever surprised that you liked a new recipe that might have sounded kind of gross? Or just the opposite, the mixture of the food sounded quite appetizing, but in reality, no one would eat you new concoction?
My grandmother was a wonderful cook and I believe she is the reason that I learned that cooking is a way to show love to your family and friends. This woman could put Betty Crocker and Rachel Ray in two-way tie for second place behind my grandmother in a cooking contest. Seriously, she even made her own “cool whip” with homemade biscuits and strawberries for her mouth-watering Strawberry Shortcake. Everything she made was heavenly. Thank goodness, I wasn’t aware of the word, “calories” when I was little. Once time, my grandmother decided to try something new. Knowing her reputation for morsels that loved you from the inside and tasty bits that called to you for seconds, we were all very surprised at the lackluster, if not disappointing consensus with a dish called, “Tomato Surprise” It was a failure like no other and became a family joke that I even wrote about in a poem when she passed away. But she explored and tested her limits in the kitchen, and more often than not, she was very successful and her recipes have been passed down(Papa is keeping the “Tomato Surprise” recipe) to her grandchildren as we make the same meals for our family as she once made for us.
Sometimes, we have no idea where we are going. We feel trapped and yet don’t know how to free ourselves. Maybe we don’t even realize that we are lost, stuck in a funnel that just seems to rotate every once in a while, just to keep us off our feet. Have you found yourself asking questions and you never seem to find the answers that make sense and yo just give up even trying. You wonder what it is worth and how the limited amount of time you have will not allow you a chance to be found. If I told you that your life depended on you just the acknowledgement of being lost, would you allow yourself to be genuine? Many people I know are so stuck in the past…holding onto regrets and guilt that eat at their core, that they don’t even see the bitterness and the anger that quickly rise to the surface for no clear reason. They are unhappy with their own lives and find judgment, negativity, and perceived knowledge to be the epitome of societal acceptance, when in fact it is just the opposite.
Just because we search, that doesn’t mean we are lost. It means that we have come to the conclusion that where we are is no longer where we must stay. Discovering who we are and why are here have been philosophical questions that have been asked for years and do not think that I am here to guide you in your journey. I have my own quest to take. But I can get you pointed in the right direction.
Ask yourself questions (this is where most people get stuck so they never go any further) Let your questions begin with, “What do I love to do?”, “If I had free time to do anything, what would it be?”, “When do I feel most alive?”, etc
Answer them honestly (if you don’t, you might as well stay where you are. You aren’t ready.)
Find out what you want (What you love is nothing to be embarrassed about — people are jealous of other’s passion, no matter what it is)
Determine ways to achieve your goals (You have to begin. Anywhere. Do not compare your beginning to someone else’s — that is the best way to find yourself headed in the wrong direction)
Be willing to try new things (experiment, venture, go outside your comfort zone — even for an hour)
Accept that you will not like everything you try (it is ok not to like to polka-dance or paint)
Ask yourself more questions based on your new knowledge (what have you learned so far?; have you become more focused?)
Use a journal to write down your experiences (believe me, you will forget otherwise)
Surprise someone — even if it is just you! (You will find yourself smiling to yourself often)
Understand that the journey never really ends (we will always keep searching, so find a good pair of walking shoes)
So I leave you with a few more questions to get your started on your quest as you decide your next step. Some steps you take will be bigger than others. Some will leave you laughing. Some will teach you something. Most will open doors that you never saw before and you will find yourself on a road to self-discovery that has been long overdue. You see, you were never really lost before. You always knew who you are and where you belong…you just didn’t believe it.
Michelle A. Homme 2014 ©