A Reminder For When You’re Feeling Lost

My first job out of college was working as a photographer assistant for a school portrait business. Our team of photographers and photographer assistants drove across our Iowa and Illinois region to take yearbook photos. In order to get to schools on the other side of the state before the day started, we regularly had to leave our office well before dawn. On one of our 3:30 a.m. wake-up call mornings, the photographer and I got lost. This was pre-cell phone apps and car GPS systems, so our earliest sign that we’d missed our exit wasn’t thanks to Alexa telling us to make our next legal U-turn, but instead was courtesy of a “Welcome to Missouri” billboard.

Luckily, the state trooper who pulled us over for driving well beyond the speed limit was kind enough to give us directions to where we were going (along with a hefty ticket). And miraculously, we weren’t far away. In our frazzled high-speed chase to capture middle school glamour shots, we’d simply overlooked our exit. Within minutes, we were back on the road and even made it to the school on time to take pictures. All’s well that ends well, I suppose.

Sometimes I still feel like that girl from almost a decade ago, searching for my sign. Only, now it’s in a more all-encompassing way. I find myself seeking advice, guidance, or an epiphany that will lead me to my life’s purpose. And when I listen to my favorite Miranda Lambert song during these melodramatic moments, I’ll spontaneously burst into tears at the line “I got lost in this old world and forgot who I am.” Sing it, sister! In so many stages along my journey into adulthood, I’ve felt small, misguided, confused and off track.

Fortunately, after the tears have fallen and the soul searching has commenced, what I usually find is that I’m not as lost as I think I am. I’ve simply stopped taking the time to check in with myself. I’ve become distracted, busy, and overwhelmed. I’ve allowed oughtasand shouldas and what’s so and so going to think to dictate my story.

I’ve become so frantic in my quest towards proving myself and my worth that I’ve stopped listening to the subtle voice within my soul. The one that exists deep beyond the exhausting and seemingly never ending exterior layers of whether or not my life looks pretty enough, successful enough, and together enough.

Maybe you can relate. You know what it feels like to move fast and to search hard. Perhaps you too have felt the pressure to prove that you’re competent, to fix your flaws, to exercise your worthiness, to fight for your purpose, and to earn your place on this earth.

If so, can we just finally make a truce once and for all? Let’s stop. Let’s stop racing, and prioritizing what we think the world wants and expects of us and start tapping into ourselves instead. Let’s remember who we were before we felt the need to become someone better and more beautiful. Let’s close our eyes and turn down the volume around us, and see if we can get back to our roots. The ones that have been, still are, and always will be authentically us. 

Instead of looking to Google to solve the answers of our soul, why don’t we go straight to the source instead? What brings you peace?  What fills you with joy?  Where do you feel inspired? When do you feel most connected? What makes you glad to be alive? There’s your sign. Come to find, it’s been there all along. Do more of that. And the rest? Fugetaboutit.

{featured image via pexels}


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