I’ve always been happier when I’m lost. Knowing exactly where I’m going has always felt so boring. I know that’s an odd thing to say, and I wonder what it says about me, but you don’t discover what you don’t know when your focus is consumed in a map from point a to b.
2019 was a rough year. I’ve never been so lost. It was the cataclysmic culmination of falsely thinking I knew where I was, and where I was going, for 4 and a half years. I’d been so blinded by the map, so staunchly holding on to point a to b, that I excused away the warning signs and disregarded my screaming intuition.
It was a humbling reminder that no matter how confidently we think we know where we’re going…we don’t. Control is an illusion, maps merely make it easier for us to believe the illusion.
2019 was about being lost. I didn’t know where I was, I had no idea where I’d come from, and I certainly had no idea where I was going. Yet, I found such unfamiliar beauty and experienced such profound growth. Even though I didn’t know what I was searching for, I searched in places I’d never dreamed of searching before. I found things I could have only found while I was lost.
I’d long discounted meditation. I don’t know why. But I was so lost that I was willing to search anywhere, and so in 2019 I started searching in meditation. Few things have changed me in the way meditation has. It’s shifted my focus from achieving a goal, to progressing through consistency. It’s molded my ability to explore my thoughts and emotions, instead of following them. Most importantly, it’s helped me hear the way I talk to myself, and to start talking to myself instead as a friend; it taught me how to give myself compassion, the same compassion I’d previously reserved only for others.
With the habit of meditation, other habits became easier too: going to the gym every day, reading every day, journaling every day, listening to daily podcasts about growth. The habits compounded, and I was so immersed in the consistency of just doing it all day to day, that I didn’t even see how far I’d come along the way.
Because, see, in the beginning of 2019, sliced and bleeding from the shards of the shattered illusions I’d so blindly had faith in the previous 4 and a half years…I knew what I wanted. I didn’t know where I’d come from, I didn’t know where I was going, and I didn’t know where I had ended up…but I knew what I wanted: I wanted to feel peace.
I made a commitment to myself to let go of everything I thought I knew and to search for what I truly wanted without any inhibitions or precognitions. In the midst of being so lost, I finally found what I’d never been able to before: happiness. Only when I stopped worrying about where I’d been and where I was going, did I finally start searching within me.
That’s what changed everything.