I first saw a sign similar to this several years ago, as I was walking through the French Quarter. At the time, I didn't know it was a famous quote by J.R.R. Tolkien, from "Lord of the Rings". But I remember being struck by it's message and oddly comforted from something I didn't know I needed comforting from. What I know now, is that it named something I wasn't able to identify...I was feeling lost.
Sometimes, feeling lost comes in transitional periods of life, starting new careers, ending long-time relationships, grieving a loss, or healing from pain. This was none of that. I was stable. Or I should say "stable". I really liked my job as a counselor (second career). I love my awesome husband. I have fun, loving friends, flexible schedule, active in extra-curriculars and ministry. So what the hell was the problem?!
As a kid, it is completely natural to explore every interest, take risks, fail and fall and start over. Experience life, being true to yourself. As a kid, I tried dancing, Barbies, bikes, volleyball, ice skating, guitar, piano, roller skates, softball, glee club and choir. And never felt an ounce of judgment or pressure when I moved to my interest du jour. I think, somewhere we hit an age where we believe we are meant to decide and commit, and say:
"THIS is Me".
But what this adulting theory doesn't allow for is growth, change, evolution, transition, movement...life, basically! Thus the quote, "If you're not growing, you're dying." I forgot it was ok to change, even in the best of circumstances (see all mine listed above). Or maybe it was just a lesson that didn't get to me. So I share it with you.
Here's a couple of tools I loaded in my backpack on this journey.
My nightstand, full of half highlighted chapters and insights. Happy to refer some of these books, if you're interested.
Bracelets from My Intent Project. My words: "Seek" and "Be Intentional". A little fashion to keep me focused. MyIntent.org
And me, in 2014, beginning my work with Brene´Brown in building shame resilience. I got motivated to start the online course at 5 o'clock in the morning. I wish I had known I would be asked to take a picture! THEN, I couldn't figure out how to correct the orientation of the picture to read correctly! So I had to embrace the saying written on my hand..."I'm imperfect and I'm enough!" Jeez!
I am not at a finish line to tell you about. I'm not on any "other side", where it might seem comforting that I may have answers. I'm even embracing symptoms of a mid-life crisis (that's for a whole other post!)
But I do have this: encouragement.
I look back at my footsteps, and seeing even where I felt lost, I learned. When I was alone, I started reaching out and asking questions and found myself connecting. When I felt loaded down, I grew stronger. And in all this wandering, I was experiencing, and dare I say it, I was enjoying, life.
So for wherever you are in your journey....
You're not lost, but you just might find...something, anything and everything...you!