You don’t start looking for things until they’re lost, but you don’t even know you’ve lost something until you need it, and of course by the time you need it, you almost never have time to look for it.
I walked out the door the other morning, put the key into the lock and turned it, then reach into my purse for my sunglasses… which were not there. I put the key back into the lock and turned it the other way, opened the door and reached my hand into the bowl we keep next to the front door for things you need when you leave the house, i.e., keys, sunglasses, and evidently peppermints and mail delivered to the wrong address. My sunglasses weren’t there, and a quick look at my watch let me know that moment was not the time to look for them. (That was two weeks ago. They’re actually lost.)
I went through the same thing with a check I needed to cash one time. I didn’t know it was missing until the day I decided to cash it, and I didn't have time to turn my desk, 2 backpacks and 3 purses inside out before my 4pm appointment in order to attempt to find it.
Funny how that works, huh? The lack of something always illuminates the effect of its presence.
And this is exactly how it was a year ago when I realized I had lost myself, and only when I had lost myself did I realize that I needed myself. The lack of something always illuminates the effect of its presence.
Just 1 year prior to losing myself (temporarily), I was so much myself that I was blinded by it. I never even thought about it. It was never a question or concern in my mind: “Am I being myself today?” I just was myself. Plain and simple.
But as day after day passed in that classroom before those kids, I knew there was something missing. I felt a giant absence inside of me, and I knew that somewhere between Paris and midnight common core strand scrambles, I had lost myself.
But there were lesson plans to be written, papers to be graded, chapters to be translated. There was no time to look for myself.
That’s what I believed for far too long, and that’s what I want to shout from the rooftops tonight: It is never too late! It is never too late to find yourself, and taking (better yet, making) time to look for yourself is always a worthy investment. It is never too late, and believing it is is a giant cop-out. A big ole excuse.
What are you going to miss? What are you already missing? Who’s watch are you on? And wouldn’t you rather show up late as you than perfectly on time as someone else?
The absence of something always illuminates the effect of its presence. You don’t know you’ve lost something until you need it, and sometimes it’s too late to look for the sunglasses or the misplaced check.
But it is never this way with ourselves.