I can list on one hand the number of things I am passionate about. It seems a lot of my past passions have faded. I’m sure that is normal. After all, living life is meant to change you. But I often feel like I want to go back to my past self. To the girl who had boundless energy and ran for miles, who set her mind to what she wanted and achieved her goals. Those goals never seemed out of reach. There wasn’t any mountain too high. That girl rose above her challenges. Fast forward to today and I am realizing that there may be more than one mountain I just can’t climb. Just Typing that sentence out for everyone to read goes against almost everything I used to be. I hate that way of thinking, but I have also never felt so lost. I just can’t find a clear path.
I am sure everyone has gotten lost once or twice in their lifetime. Maybe your parents left you at a soccer game on accident and you had to find your way home alone… right Erik? (this happened both my brothers I think, it was very traumatizing for them) The fact is there are quite a few articles about what to do if you get lost especially in the wilderness, but what about when you become lost in your life? Those articles might be a little harder to find. I think the wilderness articles might actually prove useful in more ways than one. Better than nothing right? Most articles refer you to the rule, “If lost STOP, THINK, OBSERVE, and PLAN.”
Once you realize you aren’t going anywhere, STOP! wandering around with no idea where you are going or why, won’t get you much. It can only take you farther away from future destinations. There aren’t many that reach their main destination without any thought and by complete and utter accident. Most people have some sort of idea where they want to go before hand. So the first step is to stop wandering aimlessly. This is when THINKING comes in handy! Now is the time to decide what you want. Try to figure out where you are vs where you want to be. The next step is to OBSERVE. Look around and do some research! Learn something from being lost. Find out what others have done in the same situation. Get out of doing the same routine and find metaphorical “land marks” that might lead you to your new and improved destination. And last but not least, PLAN. Every article I’ve read on being lost in the wilderness gives one simple piece of advice; never move until a well thought out plan is in place. Once you have discovered those possible land marks, map your route and move forward.
If that doesn’t work you may need to start the whole process over, but progress will be made if those simple steps are followed. It may be slow and painful progress, but progress still the same. But even with progress and growth, there is always the possibility that the destination is never met and your well thought out pathway feels more like aimless wandering. To those on that path I give one piece of advice. Planned failures usually lead to new thoughts, new plans, and new passions, which can only lead to new unexpected destinations. You will eventually go where you were meant to and you will realize just how far from the past you have come. Not all who wander stay lost.