The Art of Losing Yourself

Maxie nails it yet again (I mean, when doesn’t she though?). One of my biggest fears is being lost. Remember MapQuest? I used to print out five versions just in case I got lost along the way– Google maps is my favorite thing ever. And I definitely avoid feeling “lost” generally speaking. However, Maxie is right! It’s an art, and it’s a good thing. 
The Art of Losing Yourself
Guest Post by Maxie McCoy
From the time we’re young, we’re taught to fear getting lost. I’ll never forget heading to Disney World, about to enter a sea of people, and my parents repeatedly telling me and my three siblings “If you get lost, you stand exactly where you are. Don’t go wandering. Stay where you are, call our names. And we’ll find you.”
We all do this in our own way when we begin to feel lost. We freeze. We drive down a road looking for a new meeting place and get so worried that we’ve passed it that we actually never go far enough. We refuse to let our mind brainstorm and create from a place of stillness because we don’t want to be “lost in the clouds.” We don’t wander on our life journeys, because we don’t want to be considered one of the “lost ones.” And lord forbid we immerse ourselves into something so much that we lose track of time.
It hasn’t been until recently that I’ve truly embraced what it means to be lost in our lives. And how much beauty, awareness, and understanding can come from that place – both physically and emotionally. Being lost isn’t what our society has made it. It’s an art. Here’s where to start…
In thought…
Be the person with your head in the clouds. Who cares? Whether it’s an hour or an entire day. You need time to just be there in your head. Maybe you’re thinking about everything. Maybe you’re thinking about nothing. That stillness, with no one and nothing to distract you, will push your awareness to new places. This doesn’t mean distracting yourself with feeds on feeds on apps on inbox. It means laying on your bed sideways, staring at the ceiling and watching the fan circle round. Be with yourself. Get lost with yourself. Your battery needs that recharge. And when was the last time you did that??
In a new city or neighborhood…
Physically getting lost is a crazy thing. We freak. We’re immediately opening up maps and trying to navigate ourselves back to a place we know. (Now if it’s dark and you’re in a shady part of town, please please call an Uber ASAP.) When you’re on a street you don’t recognize or a part of campus you didn’t mean to end up end… explore. Get even more lost. Walk into shops that weren’t on your agenda. Have coffee at the cafe on the corner. Meander around looking at the trees or wall graffiti. Sink into being lost a bit more before you try so hard to course correct back to comfort. You’ll find interesting new things and enjoy yourself while you’re at it.
In a conversation…
Our connectivity can sometimes get the best of us especially when we’re catching up with one of our besties or skyping with our mom. We’re checking our email behind the Skype screen. We’re looking down at who tweeted us on our phone. We’re checking the time. But one of the amazing gifts in this life is to really, truly lose yourself in a connection with someone else. Let a 20 minute conversation turn into an hour. Let dinner turn into a midnight convo. Lose your sense of time. Lose your focus on emails, tweets, and texts. A really good conversation is one of the best places to lose yourself.
In a creative activity…
I don’t think any of us get to express our creative sides enough. It’s definitely something I lost over the years that I’m trying to pick back up. Whether it’s painting holiday cards for my besties, making a bracelet, doodling with markers or creating beaded jewelry…letting our creative side roar is an amazing way to engage a different part of our brain and feel a new sense of relaxation. It’s an easy and fun place to lose yourself, and the best part? You’ll have something to show for it.
The next time you find your day not going according to plan, lose yourself in it. The thoughts, the activities, the winding road and the conversations will take you to places that you never knew you needed.

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Southwestern Prepster

Like Carly said, you hit the nail right on the head, Maxie! We currently live in a society where you always have to have a plan and stick to it like honey on a stick, but sometimes it's okay to deviate! Some of my funniest adventures have come about because my head was in the clouds or I decided to make the best of a not-so-fun situation. Great post, always love reading from you!
xx, Mikkaela
The Southwestern Prepster

Audrey Lin

I'm pretty good at getting lost, but I especially freak out of it's in a new city or neighborhood! If I'm lost with friends though, my anxiety is more likely to subside. This has actually happened a few times, and they've been great experiences full of discovery! I guess the next step is to be able to be comfortable doing that with just myself 🙂 -Audrey | Brunch at Audrey's

Elsie Goycoolea

As an introvert I get pretty lost in my thoughts. I secretly love it because I am always amazed of where my mind can take me, it is a beautiful and exciting journey! 🙂