Being lost isn’t a state of being that people usually try to achieve. The concept of being lost is someone who doesn’t know where they are, and in some cases, don’t know who they are. We have learned it as a place only sad, stupid, or depressed people end up. In my experience, being lost has brought me some of the most revelatory moments of my life.
There are many ways a person can be lost. A person can be physically lost, spiritually lost, or mentally lost. People can also feel lost when they don’t see a path forward, sometimes wondering what choices got them to a certain point in life. We can even wake up one day and not recognize the person we see in the mirror anymore.
At the end of a hectic time at work, just after the new year, I needed a break. I had been on call almost 24/7 for over a year and didn’t take any vacation time. I was drained of any energy. My spirit was hurting because the work I was doing wasn’t fulfilling. My mind could not consume any more information or hear anything from anyone. I was depleted, physically and mentally. I decided to take some time off after my friends told me that even they noticed how I had changed. I didn’t know if the trip would help me through this tough time, or help me energize, but I wanted to go to a place that felt restorative. Somewhere I could be in the moment so that I could hear my own thoughts again.
I had almost forgotten what my voice sounded like because I had been spewing the company lingo for so long. At that time, I felt I had lost myself and had no clue how to get back to who I was, and if that felt like me anymore. As an empath, we can often take on the characteristics of the people we invest in and the places we spend our time in. Being so focused on work for so many hours and days on end, I had become a robot, a product of my company, without realizing it until it was almost too late.
I thought back to all the places I had been and where I last felt like myself; that place happened to be Iceland. I traveled to Iceland for ten days and decided to stay in a decent hotel this time. I usually would book a cheaper place with fewer amenities, but I knew I needed more support to rediscover who I was again.
When I arrived, the country was blanketed in snow. It was lovely. I got on a coach that dropped me off at my hotel. Once I checked in and made it to my room, I slept for almost a full day before leaving my room. When I ventured out the first time, it was to grab a sandwich from the hotel store and come back to my room. I slept again for almost a day. My body made the schedule that trip.
I was a shell of my former self, taking cues from a body that I didn’t deserve kindness from, and my mind wasn’t something I had control over. It was as if I just went with what my body craved the whole trip, and my mind was dormant. I don’t remember anything I thought about on that trip. Sleep, eat, breathe, sleep, eat, breathe; that was all I knew would happen. The rest was optional.
For about four days, I stayed in my hotel, never having the energy or desire to leave. The room was warm, the bed was so comfortable that it was difficult to venture out in the cold. I booked a day at the Blue Lagoon to wade in the thermal waters and got a water massage, which meant I was massaged while floating in the water while on a floating mat. It was soothing, and I fell asleep during the massage. Luckily the masseuse makes sure you don’t drown. I left the Blue Lagoon feeling rejuvenated and wanting to see more of the city.
I had been to Reykjavik before, so I had experienced many day trips to nearby natural wonders. I decided to see what the city was like and what interesting adventures it had to offer this trip. When I asked the front desk, they gave me a map of the local attractions. Back in my room, I opened the map and started to see if anything looked interesting, halfway already deciding to stay in my room for the rest of the trip. Then I came across the list of art museums and decided to see them.
In the next few days, I went to a couple of museums each day, big ones, little ones, and private artist houses. All the art was lovely, but I felt nothing. I still wasn’t in a place physically or mentally to accept anything new. I went back to my room a few days before I left and slept again for a day.
When I woke up, I felt different. My dream the night before was creative and lively, most likely a reaction to seeing all the fantastic local art in the days prior. I remembered that I use to love art and being creative. I hadn’t done anything creative in a long time. I once loved painting and writing poetry, playing music, or making various crafts throughout the years. I would always find a creative outlet that matched what I was feeling, and I forgot how I used it as a medicine.
When I got home from my trip, two things changed for me. I knew I needed to find another job because the one I had was slowly killing me, or I was allowing it to kill me, which meant it had a power over me that I needed to get away from. I also realized that I needed to be creative in my day-to-day and keep creating, regardless if I was any good at it. I craved it, and it helped me express myself when I didn’t feel empowered to do so.
Iceland has been a saving grace multiple times in my life, and in this case, it brought me back from the dead. I found a part of me I thought was lost, and was given a kickstart to a new path, to where I didn’t know, but I felt like I was in a better place to travel it now. Remember, two people can be given the same directions, and one of them may still not make it to the destination. We can all go through the same thing and not come out the same on the other side. Remember that when you think you have it all together and someone else lost their way. The things we need to keep our balance are all unique to us. Focus on what heals you.