Alright, let me set the scene really quick:
You’re driving on the 405…er sorry crawling on the 405…and you see this bumper sticker on the back of a station wagon.
“Not all who wander are lost!”
The man behind the wheel is in his 60’s with long, silvery hair. He seems like a wise dude, a cross between Dumbledore and Willy Nelson. AKA This man has seen some shit and knows some shit.
But…can we break this phrase down for a second? Correct me if I’m wrong, but it seems to insinuate that being lost itself is a bad thing. Aaaaaaaaaand if we’re being honest: most people who are wandering ARE lost.
But why is being lost a bad thing?
As kids we are told by our parents, “Follow your dreams!” “The world is your oyster!” and other annoying things that are **sort of true.** However, our well-intentioned elders also forget to mention taxes, shitty relationships, failures, flat tires, market crashes, school loans, oppression, discrimination…you get the idea. While in the pursuit of these dreams and when trying to find that shiny pearl in this oyster of a world, there were pretty significant obstacles. When we run into obstacles, we are sometimes unsure of where to go. We are, in the purest sense, lost.
But….BEING LOST DOES NOT MEAN YOU ARE GONE FOREVER.
Being “lost” means you have invariably found an obstacle in life that you can’t seem to find a way to overcome.
Um… WELCOME TO LIFE.
Life is not some beautiful journey where you follow a rainbow, pick up stars and follow little brass coins until the end where you die of a heart attack peacefully in your sleep at the age of 95 next to your loved one (don’t lie, this is how we all want to go). (Also, did anyone get that Super Mario Cart reference?)
Being lost doesn’t need to have a negative connotation. We are ALL lost at some point in our lives. In fact, this is usually the time where you have to re-evaluate some things, think about what it is you are desiring out of life, and change your course. Christopher Columbus was lost so many…. actually I don’t want to use that a**hole as a reference, he’s a fraud. Let’s use someone we can all agree on…Beyonce. That beautiful-goddess-woman was no doubt lost at many points in her career. But I am sure that her successes have been completely dependent on the times she has been lost. Being lost forces you to recalculate and recalibrate, something you may never have done had you kept along the easy, predictable path.
EMBRACE being lost. EMBRACE the fact that you are at a point in your life where you can literally determine the next step you take. Use being a wandering, lost soul as a springboard into your next adventure.
Most people who wander are lost. Stop making them think its wrong. And someone make a bumper sticker that says
“I’M FINDING MYSELF LEAVE ME ALONE”