This was inspired by a Blogging 101 assignment to write a post that builds on a comment I made on someone else’s blog. I chose my comment on Itchy Quill’s blog post about traveling. When his journey came to an end and he found himself alone in thought, he was struck with sadness until someone remarked, “It’s empowering, isn’t it? Seeing who you really are, when nobody is around to remind you what you’re supposed to be.” I commented that this is one of the reasons I enjoy solitude. I don’t have the travel bug, but I relate to this quote on a different level.
Being young and innocent, I used to be an open book. I was too trusting and naive. It came back to bite me many times before I finally adorned an invisible shield. This is a matter of survival in corporate business and I take pride in my ability to be personable without being personal. But when this continues day in and day out, year after year, one day you realize that you’ve become immersed in this persona. You’ve become your work and begin to identify yourself by what you do.
It’s easy to slip into that. College students are bombarded with questions about what they plan to do, not with their life but with their degree. Once in the work arena, new introductions begin with, “What do you do?” As a parent with grown children, people are quick to ask, “What does he/she do?” Retirees must tire of the question, “What did you do?” No one ever asks about your passion and joy, and somewhere along the way, we forget to ask that of ourselves.
So even though I’m not a traveler, I wander in different ways. My mind travels for me, finding new means of expression and exploring what I feel compelled to express. I meander to my notebook to write a poem, or to my computer to post a blog, or to my mat to stretch and tone, or to my kitchen to tackle a new recipe, all the while discovering who I really am; not my roles and responsibilities but what happiness is – to me. Like the title of Itchy Quill’s post, sometimes you have to get lost to find yourself.