If I were to summarize my entire twenties in a single sentence, I’d have to say that (so far) they’ve been about searching for what’s inherently within me. Okay, I know that sort of sounds like this big, philosophical statement, but what I really mean is that I’ve been unlearning all that doesn’t sit right with me and relearning what I feel, believe, think, and love.
I’ve been discovering the parts of my life and my soul that have been a crucial part of who I am without trying, without yearning, without changing myself to fit someone else’s desired role or mold.
So much of our lives, honestly, is about searching. We’re constantly looking for someone to love, for a path to follow, for a dream to chase. We’re looking for answers about what our purpose is, what we’re meant to do, and who, at the end of the day, we’re becoming.
Searching isn’t a bad thing. In fact, it’s a natural part of our lives. We’re supposed to be looking for answers. We’re not supposed to be standing still. It’s when we get distracted by so many other people’s dreams or when we fall off our own path striving to feel or be something we’re not—that’s when we lose our way.
In life it’s so easy to get caught up in the wrong thing. It’s so easy to say ‘yes’ to things that don’t quite mesh with what we believe, or say no to what does by accident. It’s so easy to walk the same line as our friends, getting caught up in their laughter or mistakes. It’s so easy to jump into situations and opportunities for fear of getting left behind or for being too excited in the moment. It’s so easy to settle because we don’t quite know our worth or because we don’t know any better about what’s out there, about what’s coming.
But learning to quiet the sounds of the world and listen to what I’m actually feeling, thinking, and resonating with has been the single most important lesson of my life.
For the longest time, I believed that I was too emotional. I heard the complaints from ex-boyfriends, friends, and people around me that I was ‘too much,’ or ‘too sensitive,’ or ‘too caring.’ I thought the way I loved was weak, thought my writing was far too heavy. I spent a good amount of my life trying to shut off the valve that led me to pour my heart on a page. I didn’t want to be seen as fragile.
Until one day I started to own my feelings. I started to silence the negativity and listen to what I truly felt and desired. Instead of quieting my own mouth to bring out the words of others, I saw my voice as equally valid, equally valuable.
And I spoke. I read. I wrote. I loved.
And over time I began to realize how much of the world I was missing, and how much the world was missing me because I wasn’t staying true to the things that really mattered and made me unique.
And that’s such a big issue in today’s world. We read books and articles, talk to coaches and gurus—and don’t get me wrong, those things are valuable—but we sometimes get so tangled up in the mess of ‘becoming’ that we forget to acknowledge who we already are.
We fail to recognize what’s inside us, and how powerful that truly is. We’re too busy comparing to notice the strides we’ve made, the growth we’ve had, the ways we are blessing this world just by being here.
Truth is, there is an inner voice within each of us. There is a set of ideas and beliefs that guide our every heartbeat. Who we are is a product of everything we’ve learned, gained, and grown from. We are fragments of the people we love(d) and who love(d) us. We are the battles we’ve faced, the happiness we’ve created, and the joy we’ve experienced. We are a beautiful collage of the world. But we are also, and most importantly, uniquely our own.
As we grow, we shift and bend with the world. But the identity within us is still ours; it will always be ours.
So instead of rushing just to keep up with the rush or questioning your next move for fear of falling behind, embrace all that you already are. Listen to the truths on your heart and the excitement dancing in your cells. Follow what makes you feel important, valued, and alive. And trust yourself, even when you’re walking down an unknown path. You already know the way.
Featured Image Credit: Arthur Savary