A Message for Anyone Who Feels Lost

May 16, 2012 · 12 comments

A year and a half ago, I wrote a post about how I felt lost. New readers still land on that post every week; I get a good deal of search traffic from people telling Google, “I’m lost” or “I feel lost.”

map for life

If only there was a map for life.

I like that. I didn’t particularly enjoy feeling lost, but I like that people who are lacking direction and looking for inspiration land on this blog… and hopefully find what they’re looking for.

Yet now I finally feel unlost — perhaps more than ever before. A year and a half after writing that post, I finally feel content.

I’m content because everything that was up in the air a year and a half ago has finally started to settle. I’m living in a city I love. I’m doing work I enjoy, feeling challenged by my own standards. And fate has landed me in the arms of a smart, adventurous guy. I’m not one of those people who believes love is a cure-all, but it certainly helps.

Now, that doesn’t mean every single piece of the puzzle has come together. My travel memoir, the book to which I dedicated more than 15 months of my life, hasn’t yet sold. I still feel constant anxiety over bringing in enough money each month — the plague of the self-employed — even though I’m now making more than I did at my day job. And I continue to work late some nights, as showcased by my writing this post at 9 p.m.

But when you feel content on the whole, it’s far easier to deal with uncertainties and frustrations. I feel completely OK with making baby steps on those fronts because I’m making progress on the whole.

While I’ve worked my way into a state of content, however, some of my friends have managed to get lost in their own way. Which made me think about how we all get lost at some point, that we almost have to get lost before finding our way. We all have to live our own unique journeys, taking baby steps toward happiness and satisfaction — and sometimes those steps include a detour or two.

It’s OK to not know where you’re going, so long as you’re moving in a direction that feels like forward. So long as you’re acting on your aspirations and not simply planning for them, you will get there. Even if it takes living with your parents and bringing home a stray, raggedy dog and leaving a job after only a year.

Because everything you’re doing now is helping you get where you want to be. It’s all baby steps toward where you belong.

And when you get to that place where you’re content, you’ll appreciate it that much more.

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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

TC Avey May 16, 2012 at 7:30 am

I’m on this journey and thankfully I am content!

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Angela May 17, 2012 at 3:58 am

Hey Alexis.

I’m busy reading Leveraging the Universe by Mike Dooley and he gives exactly the same advice. You’ve got to keep moving! Nice post. :-)

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Alexis Grant May 17, 2012 at 8:52 am

Oooh, that book sounds like one I should check out! What’s it about?

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Bobbi May 17, 2012 at 9:30 pm

Getting lost is part of the journey, sometimes one of the most enoyable, eye opening, creative inducing parts. I think you get lost many times over a life time, and it’s okay, because eventually you get found.

Nice post!

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Bonnee May 18, 2012 at 7:09 am

I’m at the start of this journey. The road ahead looks tough, but I know I can make it. Thanks for sharing with us!

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Jedidiah Tettehfio May 19, 2012 at 1:16 am

Hello Grant,
This is really touching. I live in Nigeria in Africa here and it seems everything is truely lost. It looks as if one is beating the air. No desired result for any project yet and at times you wonder if all is not lost. Thank you very much for this wonderful post. If there is anything you can do to help me,I will really appreciate it….Not Financial Support. God Bless and Keep You.

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Lomi May 19, 2012 at 1:31 am

Thank you! I really needed this today! :)

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Alexis Grant June 20, 2012 at 8:46 am

Glad to help, Lomi! :)

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Dawn August 26, 2012 at 9:22 am

I have this overwhelming feeling of being lost. I don’t enjoy my job….has me getting out of bed way to early and I am not an early morning person. I feel like my life hasn’t even started and I am 40!!! I get depressed and lower back hurts. I just started the job I have. It is very demanding on my body and I am on my feet for 8 hours at this job. I am a creative person and I love to crochet. I would like to sell the stuff I make, but due to my hubby’s part time job, I can’t quit this new demanding job I have. I feel so overwhelmed in all areas of my life. I need HELP!!!

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Self Discovery September 25, 2012 at 2:06 am

Even with everything up in the air, one can be confident in what we want. The effectiveness is not the issue, the feeling of being lost is.

As we adapt to the pain around us, the numbness we create has a lot to do with ending up feeling lost.

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cb January 29, 2013 at 7:33 am

what if you don’t know where you want to be? you have 2 options, 1 possibly good but possibly bad because it involves being involved with someone else, and 1 easier because its forging your own path?

so far Im going with the lone one and forging ahead, and I feel pretty content. but sometimes I get too mental…

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