There was a time where life was moving forward and I was not. I felt stuck and had no idea where to turn or what my next move was. I had taken so many steps back and as a result I felt behind. A series of missed opportunities and bad career and business decisions, left me feeling lost and behind. Each day just bled into the next of an unwanted routine and the same mundane. I was wondering and I was lost.
It took a lot time to focus my wandering mind because in many ways I had given up and surrendered to the state of staying lost. But I finally made a choice that even though I didn’t know where all I wanted to go, I knew I didn’t want to stay where I was at. The real change in my path started from the inside out. I started by focusing on who I wanted to be before I thought about where I wanted to go. I knew I need to work on myself to become a better version of myself before anything else. Little by little things started to turn around in my life. Though there is still so much uncertainty in my life about my future, I am no longer wandering because I am lost. I am wandering because I am planning and learning. It takes time.
Society has fixated on social clocks and time tables for when milestones are supposed to happen like college, career, marriage etc. We are taught that something is wrong with us if we are not reaching these “have it together moments” fast enough or we don’t know our next move.
But if we are not careful as a society, we can equate someone not knowing where they are going as someone who is lost. We can pass judgment and put everyone in a box with those who are not even trying at all.
But just because someone is wandering doesn’t mean they are not trying or they are not learning, they are not growing, they are not planning, or they are not dreaming.
Trying is what you are doing in the here and now whether it’s going to school or working your jobs, saving, setting goals, and working hard. Trying is when you keep stepping one foot in front of the other because you know in your heart you need to keep going. That’s the winning spirit that will pay off.
That is ok. People start college at all different times in life. Some people get married young and some people get married old. Some people hit the ground running after high school and some take hard detours and long scenic routes but they come around to finding where they need to be.
But if we constantly fixate on the idea that we are behind or we are going nowhere compared to this person or that person, we take on the lost mentality. The lost mentality of giving up, never trying, or never being satisfied with what we have accomplished. That mentality is so prevalent in our society. And then when we eventually get to where we want to be, we call ourselves late boomers or dismiss our success because it didn’t fit the normal timetable or we didn’t finish as well as someone else. Why?
Just because something in your life is not a “now” doesn’t means it’s a never. Just because you went through obstacles doesn’t mean your dreams are not meant to be. Just because you screwed something up doesn’t mean you should give up on yourself altogether. Just because you tried something and it didn’t work out doesn’t make you a failure. Sometimes just as important as knowing what you do like and what works for you, is knowing what you don’t like and what doesn’t work for you. It’s a learning process.
Extend yourself grace. Work hard of course but keep stepping one foot in front of the other even if you don’t have all the step by step directions. Most people don’t. To the outside, you may look lost but you know that you’re planning, you’re showing up, you’re trying and you’re dreaming.
Not all who wander are lost.
Love, Naomi Noel
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