Society has this vendetta against being lost.
I’m reading The Road to Becoming by Jenny Simmons right now. It’s opening my mind to the fact that lost can be okay. I mentally made a commitment to read more books about lostness (though, I think that the majority of books are kind of, in a way, written about lostness in one form or another). I did re-find The Art of Non-Conformity in my room, though—The War of Art is somewhere I cannot find.
Yesterday, my friend Drew asked on Facebook “Since a lot of people check in on *me*, how are *you*?”
I am far too awake for midnight, and far too content with being mildly misplaced in this season of my life.
Misplaced is really the same as lost. Lost does not always mean forever: misplaced and lost, in the sense of being, are very much the same.
I am pretty okay with being here. Here means there is room for ideas, for growth, for challenge and change and hope. It means I can try new things because the old things clearly aren’t reciprocating as they need to be.
Except society really isn’t interested in teaching twenty-three-year-old university graduates who are funemployed* what they are doing, where they are, is okay.
*Funemployed is a word that probably my cousin Dean invented (or stole) one summer when I was unemployed. I use it now to describe my sort-of employed state doing projects that only sort of count as employment and/or don’t pay me yet.
The Road to Becoming has a chapter called Iowa Cornfield, and the next called Lost Girl.
Some people are desperate for a detour. It’s a pretty good litmus test for figuring out if you are in the right place or not. if you can’t stand your current situation and secretly wish the road you are on would close in front of you so you can take a much-needed detour, it’s probably time for a life change. Don’t wait for the road to crumble; it might not ever happen. Pack your bags and get going. You have permission to write your own Road Closed sign.
I wasn’t interested in any of that Road Closed business. I wanted a road. My road. The original one that we had a map for. So my answer was to stay at the Road Closed sign until someone from the Iowa Department of Transportation showed up to explain themselves and cleared their stuff OUT OF MY WAY so I could continue on the road I planned on taking.
I will sit here until you build me a road. Take that, highway bureau.
The thing is, I’ve never been given the option to lay out the roads. The only choice I get is what to do when the road suddenly ends.
—Jenny Simmons, The Road to Becoming (page 99)
I don’t know much about Iowa cornfields, but as soon as I saw Lost Girl at the top of that page, I knew that this book landed in my hands right now for this reason.
Self-reliance, fully mapped out futures, and divine epiphanies; these were the things that young adults should strive for—not lostness. Accepting lostness as a viable way of existing, if even for a short season, is not a mantra our culture is familiar with.It certainly sounded backwards to a girl who was desperate to move forward.
[…] Time to accept the seemingly insignificant nothingness of the blank page in front of me.
—Jenny Simmons, The Road to Becoming (page 104-105)
Lostness is, perhaps, the fervent search to find where you are going right now. It does not matter for how long, maybe lost is a place after all, whereas misplaced is a temporary-ism without the intensity of lostness. To do things without having to commit to them forever, to get by, to explore, to do things you’d never anticipate because you are now that person in that place you never thought you would be because the world prepared you otherwise.
The world doesn’t prepare us for lostness. We prepare ourselves.
We don’t all get to be lost. Even fewer of us don’t all get to embrace being lost. I tried already to become found quickly, and through that, I’ve only discovered that found probably isn’t even where I want to be right now—and definitely isn’t where I need to be. Six months ago, I made the realization, again, that I am more happy discontent—at least in this season. And being funemployed for the last five months challenged me to learn how to embrace that discontent.
I am living inside a blank page, a blank canvas, a Word document with only the cursor blinking.
I am content in discontent.