I thought I found myself pretty early on life- I’m not sure exactly when but definitely by 19, the year after high school when I took a gap year, lived away from everyone I knew for six months in Plymouth and then traveled alone around South-East Asia. And even before then, I’ve always been pretty sure who I was and what I wanted out of life. It was always black and white with me, and I think that’s why my life is now a constant elusive pursuit for clarity, a burning desire to return to a simpler time.
I can say for sure that I built a lot of my self-confidence on this foundation. This false idea that at such a young age, I knew who I was through and through. I somehow assumed that this person I thought I was so familiar with, would never change much. I thought that things would change and life circumstances would change but at the core, I would remain the same. I would look for the same qualities in people, have the same views on religion, have the same approach towards happiness and mental health, look for the same qualities in friends, and generally just be the same person at the core.
Life spun out of control a little bit the moment I realised that nothing I thought I knew about my world or myself was set in stone, and that everything was subject to change. I realised that nothing really is and everything really isn’t, and that I knew absolutely nothing. I questioned every single thing and really lost myself in the process.
And after all was said and done, all that was left was an awareness that life is a searching process. And that refining thoughts and changing views and opinions do not equate to loss of self. Asking questions and doubting everything that I thought I knew is called growth- not loss of self. And even if I was to lose aspects of myself, I just have to never stop searching for what I really believe in. Sometimes you have to lose who you were, to find who you should be. And this process of losing and finding will occur many times along the journey of my life. I am now okay with that.