We all go through that journey of lost and found. Regardless of how many times we’ve lost ourselves or we’ve found ourselves, it’s undeniable that those days prove that we are humans. We get tired, frustrated and hopeless but we also get hopeful, happy and contented. It’s a cycle. Life is full of ups and downs. Sometimes you’re okay, sometimes you’re not. All of us have battles to win and one of those is the journey to self-discovery, of finding one’s self amidst the crowd and nothingness. Personally, I had to go through the following things over and over again because I’m still in the process of finding myself:
1. I stopped asking for validation from others.
One day I woke up realizing that the world has been talking about me. Secrets revealed, past unmasked, privacy intruded. I must admit, it was never easy to deal with. I was unclothed; but the damage has been done. No matter how the situation changed others’ opinion about me, it’s part of the journey. It’s painful to be judged but what matters is that you know yourself better. Everyone is interested in seeing you down, in knowing your weakness and discovering the real you. Let them talk about you. Tell them to have fun. Show them you don’t care. Life is too short to be mindful of everyone’s opinion. At the end of it all, you will know whom to trust and who will stay.
2. I stopped asking for mercy from those who broke me.
I used to ask for healing from those who caused me pain. I waited for their apologies just to tell myself I have to move on. Growing up, I got used to being left alone and rejected. At first, it was painful but in the latter days of my budding stage I realized that time heals. You don’t exactly need others to fix yourself and your life. The willingness to rebuild yourself must come from within.
3. I stopped chasing for love.
You know this thing is quite intriguing. As of the moment, I still prefer to be single. My friends are telling me that the right one will come. My younger self would tell me that love does not come along, you have to look for it. Well, I realize that it’s tiring. Further, I was just pressured by couples around me. You know that inquisitive feeling on how a friend got a new partner and why I am actually left single for a long time. I think the important concern that should be addressed is the readiness and completeness of someone to love and be loved. Well, I don’t believe that I am right now. I chose to love myself first. It’s hard to give something you don’t have in the first place.
4. I learned to accept that I can’t ask someone to stay.
Not everyone is meant to stay in your life forever. Likewise, not everyone deserves a seat at the table of your life. People come and go. They will either change or break you. In my life, I’ve gained and lost people. When I tried to blend with the world, I took the courage to trust others. It was the most difficult decision I had to make. It was a happy outcome at first but then, some things didn’t work out as I wanted. Betrayal and lots of painful goodbyes from the people I took into my life broke my heart. The worst part? Something died inside me – trust. Young as I was, I didn’t understand why. With the help of time, I’ve learned to set people free even if sometimes it’s against my will, because it’s needed.
5. I learned to stop looking back.
My past has a lion share of my present. Every time I make mistakes, I reflect on the experiences I had. There are times that I blame my past for my mishaps. I feel that I’m still running away and hiding from some thing or someone I don’t even know. The traces of some tragic events are still imprinted on my way but it’s really tiring to run away forever. In the midst of this battle, I gradually learned to keep moving forward…without looking back. I just want to go on, keeping my eyes on what lies ahead, not on what lies before me. I learned that I have the power to change and direct my life. Leave the baggage of your past.
6. I learned to survive alone.
No man is an island they say but in the battle of life, surviving alone is imperative. There are fights you need to conquer on your own. You need that to become stronger. My younger days spoke of a fearful scheme. I was afraid to be left alone because I didn’t know how to face the real world. I was afraid of the dark, of everything that’s in it. But the world is full of strategic plots to turn things the other way around. When everyone left even my own shadow, I had to face the world alone. It was frightening and traumatic but I have to go through those moments to realize how strong and reliable I must be for my self.
7. I’m working on going out of my comfort zone.
I am a creature of habit. My daily basis is all about routines – no extraordinary and thrilling moments. I grew up comfortable with this set up because it gives me assurance and everything is calculated. It sounds boring but I love it. Nevertheless, there’s a point in our lives that we’ll get tired of what we’re used to. I came to that point too. As a result, I started to open the doors and break the walls. It was a risk but somehow it became worth it. I lost so many chances of experiencing more things just because I remain contented of what is there. There’s life outside my world.
8. I’m working on concentrating with my own pace.
Life is not a race. We all have our own clock but we just can’t help comparing our life with that of others. There are just moments when we realize we’re left behind while others are close to their goals. There are also times when we question our choices because we’re not certain if they’ll lead us to the betterment of our selves. I came to a point where I felt like my own clock wasn’t ticking anymore, like it stopped working for me. I felt like I was in a hurry because I got jealous by others’ achievements. I was just crying seeing how they did it while I was trying the best I could but it wasn’t enough. Others have done it in easiest way while I have to give it my all but nothing happened. I am still in the point of dreaming but others have already made their dreams come true. It’s hard to get over with this problem but I’m trying now because I’m already tired. I want to make my dreams come true not because I want to win the race but because I deserve it.
9. I’m working on accepting things I cannot change.
The world is in ordered chaos. There are things we cannot understand but have to accept. I started working on accepting things I cannot fix: broken relationships, lost chances, wasted opportunities, and others. Human as I am, the drive to push and force things to go on my way is normal but isn’t right at all times. There are really things that are hard to understand but oftentimes leave no better option but to accept them. It’s hard, yes but you can’t do anything about it. That’s just how things go. What I am trying to do is having that mindset that there is another day, another chance to start again and continue living.
We may have different phases and stages to undergo, everything will still break down to have that sense of fulfillment: that after a long journey, gradually we’re having that self awareness of who we really are. But the journey doesn’t end there; the time of proving that you can stand behind the self that you want to carry demands to be known. At the end, until when are you willing to withstand the storms that are about to destroy the self you have cultivated and fought for?