Locke: I’m not lost anymore.
Sun: How did you do that?
Locke: Same way anything lost gets found. I stopped looking.
I have been re-watching the show Lost on Netflix. It has been a wonderful experience as a fan to watch the show from the beginning and be able to pay better attention to how their lives intertwined and to how they each faced their personal demons. And once they did resolve their own baggage… their own truth — only then could they truly leave the island in one form or another (at least during the first two seasons).
In the past, I have felt that I’ve found myself. I’ve gotten distracted by the illusion that I’m not lost any longer through goalless hobbies and short-lived projects. But if that were true – then I would have moved forward, instead of circling back around to the same unsatisfied yearnings. The obstacles and distractions that I placed in my own way would have dissipated into thin air. But for some, like me, we can become lost in the everyday-ness of life.
We all get lost sometimes. As mothers, we can feel completely lost as your child lays in a hospital bed for twelve hours while the doctors try to figure out what is wrong with him. You can feel lost waiting for a loved one’s cancer test results. We all can feel a little lost as we age and a photograph or an unexpected glance in the mirror shows us that we no longer look the way we thought we did. We look up from our seat on the couch only to our sons and daughters to realize that more than a decade has passed in a whirlwind of life.
One of the worst types of “Being Lost” is losing your path to your dreams. When I was seven, I wrote my first short story about a girl who visits Santa Claus. My mother typed it up for me and it made me feel so special… like my words meant something. I still have it, the fragile paper now frayed and brown and creased. And back then, if asked what I wished to be when I grew up, the answers would run wild with random occupations that captured my interests at the time, such as an astronaut, a veterinarian, or a scientist. But always, at the top of that list, was Author.
I frequently got on my writing path and then wandering off again just as quickly. There was constant pressure from my distractions… the burning need to learn all about something before I could let it go. Eventually, I’d find my way back again. Even in writing, one idea would spark off another and I am the proud owner of the beginning chapters to around 40 or so novels. Then the shiny *whatever* would again capture my imagination and demand my full attention. Crafting, psychology, scrap-booking, web design, digital art, weight loss, politics and many, many other pursuits of happiness were learned about and then moved on from as soon as I became bored. Writing would beckon me back so I would write in my notebooks and eventually randomly blog over twenty different websites, but I would never allow myself to fully fall into it like I had done with so many other things.
Feeling lost or disconnected from your passion – your life’s purpose – usually stems from fear. Fear of not being good enough. Fear of being successful and not being able to sustain that success. Fear that what you have put up on that pedestal will prove itself to be truly just a fantasy carved from clay. Throw in the impulsiveness of ADHD and with a dash of occasional crashing waves of depression, figuring out what will keep your feet glued to that path can be difficult. And for each person, the bulk of what works for them will be unique.
Except for one piece.
Taking that very first step. No matter if it is your 408th first step. Taking that first step is something that must be done.
For me, I’m going to take Locke’s advice and mix it with my own. I’m going to take that first step, and then I am going to stop looking for the path. I’ll put one foot in front of the other and allow the path to find me.
xoxo ~ Melissa