Wonderfully Lost

Rachael - Ludington, Michigan
Entered on April 4, 2013
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I believe in getting lost. Lost in the text of the novel that is particular to your thoughts and feelings that you deem special. The song that reminds you of your childhood summers, where you close your eyes and lose yourself reliving a memory; feeling the warm wind brushing against your arm, the smell of the dusty gravel that you stir up as you ride your bicycle, humming the tune of that song. Like the impromptu Sunday Drive, with no destination. You’re free to roam, take paths that you’ve never noticed, discover places you haven’t been. Then falling astray on the path to lead you back home, leaving you to test directions and alertly absorb your surroundings in order to find your way back; that kind of lost.

I get lost daily; whether it’s in thought, or the extemporaneous drive I just decided to go on. Getting lost is an adventurous learning experience that trains you how to be more aware of your surroundings. A few of my most favorite memories involve physically getting lost. That one late night trip back to Ludington from Grand Rapids I took with a few friends. We finally realized we were going the wrong way when we hit South Haven, almost three hours out of our way. There was also the time where I got lost in the DeVos Place in Grand Rapids after the President’s Ball and then the parking garage for a solid two hours. I felt like my life was that one episode of Seinfeld, minus the air conditioner. At the time, these are nerve wracking experiences that get your adrenaline pumping. You’re fearful that you won’t be safe, but it always works itself out in the end. Physically losing yourself prepares you for how you manage when you emotionally or mentally lose yourself.

You don’t always have to be lost in a literal sense to “get lost” and some of the time, losing yourself may not be a positive experience. There are times where I lose sight of who I am. While lost, I test out metaphorical paths and sometimes they turn out to be the right direction and other times they were a wrong turn. I make note of these wrong turns, so I can avoid them further on up the road of finding my way back to who I am.

In Walden, Henry David Thoreau wrote “Not till we are lost, in other words not till we have lost the world, do we begin to find ourselves, and realize where we are and the infinite extent of our relations.” Getting lost fuels my curiosity and teaches me lessons on finding my way back to the right track. I believe in getting lost through day dreams, a misplacement, adventures, and difficult times where you make discoveries about yourself and the atmosphere around you. In order to truly find yourself, I believe that you should put down the map and get wonderfully lost.