"Lilia, how are you doing?" It is often the case that the simplest of questions are the hardest to answer. This question a few of you asked me on my Instagram stories inspired me to write this blogpost about feeling lost & finding yourself again. If you follow me on my other social media platforms, you will know that I’ve been feeling lost the past few weeks. With everything that’s going on in the world, as well as my personal life, I found myself questioning who I am, what I want, and where I am headed. The scary part wasn't asking myself these questions; it was that for the first time in my life, I was not able to answer them.
What comes after you achieved your dream? What do you strive for if what you wanted leaves you unfulfilled? How do you figure out what is next in life for you?"
I've always been a girl who didn't shy away from dreaming boldly. Life, to me, was never limited by what is - but what I could imagine it to be. A healthy dose of metaphysics and romanticism is something I needed ever since I fell in love with philosophy and 19th and 20th-century literary novels. However, one thing I never thought about is what comes after the dream comes true. What happens when your wildest dreams turn into actual reality? My move to LA should have been my dream come true. After surviving law school, experiencing the challenges of the US immigration system, and going through another move from east to west coast by myself, being in LA was the reward I yearned for so long. I’ve worked years to be able to move to the city of Angels from the Netherlands, and to pursue a creative career as an influencer. However, now that I was living the life of my dreams, that rewarding feeling did not seem to come. What comes after you achieved your dream? What do you strive for if what you wanted leaves you unfulfilled? How do you figure out what is next in life for you?
Moving to Los Angeles was not how I imagined my life to unfold. I found it difficult to be in a new city or foreign country during the isolation of the pandemic. My heart broke for the current worldly injustices, and working on my personal white fragility and learning & unlearning my implicit biases has been an important, but emotional process. Furthermore, I struggled with the pressure of social media and its paradoxical labels. I felt to pressure “to be on social media all the time, but also enjoying life”, "to always be positive, but not fake”, “to be aspirational yet relatable”, “to adapt to trends yet stay the same”. By trying to please people’s expectations of me - which I would perpetually fail since it’s impossible to please everyone - I forgot to please the most important person in anyone’s life - yourself.
In normal times, I always found solace in keeping myself busy and productive. Feeling sad? Channel it into writing a blogpost or diary entry. Feeling overwhelmed? Write a plan or schedule. Feeling lonely? Create a chit-chatty video for your YouTube. Instead of truly dealing with my feelings, I spend days and nights focused on creating content & my stationery brand. However, a few weeks ago I reached such a low point, I just couldn’t take it anymore. I couldn't transform my negativity into something positive. Tears of confusion, loneliness, and anxiety made my mind overflow - I couldn’t stop crying and wanted to give everything up. The big, bold question mark of what I want, haunted me, leaving me with daily anxiety and negative thoughts - something I haven’t felt on this scale since being in high school battling depression.
"Much like a wardrobe, your mind needs a regular cleanout of all the ideas and feelings you thought you wanted because other people told you so, but didn't really like nor need."
The good thing about hitting your lowest low, is that from that point, things can only go up. Talking with my friends and family, giving myself some partial time off (after sleeping for 4-5 hours every day last week during my new Supplied by Lily stationery collection launch, I gave myself some days off this week - I really needed it). Simple things like going on bike rides in cute rompers and pretty flowers in my basket, picking up rollerblading, and enjoying the LA weather brought some healing to my soul. I decided that in order for me to put things in perspective, and figure out what is next, I needed to do a mind clearout. Much like a wardrobe, your mind needs a regular cleanout of all the thoughts and ideas you thought you wanted because other people told you so, but didn't really like nor need. And maybe, after clearing out all the nonsense, you will find those lost capsule wardrobe pieces that truly identify who you are. At least I have my short-term next figured out. So to answer the question: I am figuring things out for myself. And I will talk to you, with my mind clear out results very, very soon.
How do you deal with feeling lost?