Getting lost and finding myself again

It was a gloomy Friday morning. Cool breeze blew through my window, making it hard for me to get out of bed. My work shift started at 4:30 pm so I didn't mind wrapping myself up in a blanket like a burrito. Moments passed by and I found myself staring at the ceiling. This has happened countless times since last year, when I quit my first job and decided to move to another. I was lying there again. I felt lost, empty, and hopeless.

Flashback to my college days. I made a bucket list which I promised myself to fulfill as soon as I finished my degree. To get my own car, to travel the world, to pursue grad school, and to live independently were some of the things on that list. Everything was clear to me. I would find a job where I would never feel like working at all. I was full of hope, optimism, and energy back then. I was stoked for what life had in store for me. 

Things changed as I approached my mid-twenties and experienced life after college. Doubt, fear, and emptiness replaced my optimism.

I felt stuck in one direction and had nowhere to go. I felt like I was too far from being the person I hoped to be. I began questioning my life's purpose, asking what I really wanted to do. Social media also made me feel bad about myself. I started to compare myself to others. I saw how my batch mates and friends have been tirelessly crawling their way up to reach their goals. How about me? I was just like them before, but how did it happen that I lost my drive?

There came a point in my life that I didn't feel happy and fulfilled at all with what I was doing. I felt like I was just dragging my feet to work every day. I didn't know it was too early for me to think that way. One thing I was sure of was that I was lost, and something was lacking, which I could not figure out.

Illustration by Alejandro Edoria/Rappler

What happened to my patience, maturity, commitment, and acceptance? Was I too focused on becoming a someone by the age of 25?

“Am I the only one struggling?” I asked myself. Everything seemed blurry until I had a one-on-one talk with a friend. Yes, I was not alone. He had gone through all of this too. It was just a phase in life. If he made it, why couldn't I?

My 20s story might not be the same as yours, however, but I believe that in one way or another, we share the same realizations at this point in our lives.

Don't fret. Get up and find yourself again the way I did. Here are some tips to get yourself back on track.

1.  Focus on yourself. 

Everything seems unsure now. But there's nothing to worry about. It's not about when you get there but how. It may take time to get to your desired destination but it will be worth it. Remember what you love to do and continue doing it. 

Focus on improving yourself. Your competition is yourself and not anyone else right now. Life may be harsh sometimes but kalma, bes. You're only starting. You're too young to have everything figured out.

2. Take that leap of faith.

Never put yourself in a box. Get out of your comfort zone. Sometimes we miss out on better opportunities because we are afraid of trying and committing mistakes. Remember, life moves with or without you. It will not wait for you. Try other things. Do things beyond what you have already mastered. Growth won't happen if you let yourself stay in your bubble of comfort. If you don't feel happy at all with your work, draft that resignation letter and leave. Chase after what your mind and heart tell you to.

3. Forget about that bucket list.

Setting deadlines for your goals aren't bad at all, but don't ever stress yourself over them. Don't subscribe to a fancy guide to live your life. Just live.

Drop that imaginary list rattling around your head. I realized that sometimes we are too focused on crossing out items on that life list. We end up accomplishing nothing because of the pressure we put on ourselves in meeting these in time.

 4. Talk to someone.

Be open to others' opinions. Talk to someone whom you're comfortable with. Ask for help because sometimes having a simple chat can provide you answers.

5. Focus on the good things.

Look at the positive side of everything. If you mess up, don't ever let it rule your life. Problems may come along the way. Just hang in there. Don't beat yourself up if things don't happen the way you planned it.

Were you scolded by your boss for messing up your work? Don't feel upset. Figure out what had gone wrong so it won't happen again.

Ended a romantic relationship? Go out and meet other people. 

Sometimes, it's the way we handle things that matter. Get rid of the negativity and live a positive life.

How about you? How did you find yourself again when you were feeling lost? Share your story in the comments section! –

Bonz Magsambol

Bonz Magsambol is a multimedia reporter for Rappler, covering health, education, and social welfare. He first joined Rappler as a social media producer in 2016.