As a kid, I got lost a few times for about a couple of minutes. I let go of my grandmother’s hand while looking back at something that attracted my attention, and for a few seconds, this desperate feeling of being lost in the world forever made me fret with anxiety. It also felt as if my blood were being drained from my body. When my grandmother found me, my blood seemed to start pumping again. Without becoming physically lost, this feeling has often visited me again. Especially when my life has taken an unexpected turn and I’ve been forced out of my comfort zone.
The feeling of being desperately lost when we experience a change in direction or a new situation may arise from our need to feel safe. We hold on to the familiar because it’s known territory. Our routines often keep us sane and the new unknown territory causes anxiety. We may feel naked in the face of new challenges because newness, as positive as it may be, still makes us feel unprepared. Our brains seem to have a hard time adapting to the new and unfamiliar.
The older I get, funnily enough, I’m exposed, more often than I’d care for, to new challenges which cause me to freak out and therefore, I feel lost for a bit. Those same childhood feelings rush right back. But just as I get used to the known and familiar, being faced repeatedly to new unexpected situations makes me become a bit more comfortable and ready to challenge the new. Feeling lost becomes familiar too and the anxiety finally is lessened, in time.
Have you felt desperately lost?