The quest for oneself is probably the only topic less popular than the quest for truth. Books, movies, and the internet have exploited and exhausted it. Coming-of-age books and movies have shouted it out from rooftops, that one of the best ways to find ourselves is through travel. Finding yourself might be the complex Christopher McCandless from ‘Into the Wild’ or the very simple Bunny from ‘Yeh Jawaani hai Dewaani’, the message they give is very clear – find places to find yourselves. This might seem a simple task, except for the concept of ‘self’. You never know if your assumption of yourself is true until you find yourself. As confusing as the concept of finding yourself sounds, it is the most beautiful and gratifying experience.
Going Out To Seek What Lies Within
Travel is the one thing that detaches you from the routine of everyday life. You can plan a trip right to the ‘t’ but there is always a chance something will go awry and catch you off guard. Travel prepares you for life—you can decide and aim to be in a certain place all you want, but life always has that one curveball spinning towards your face. It’s the collision, or the moment when you get lost that helps you find yourself. New experiences and absence of normalcy force us to change perspective about our regular assumptions. It makes one more confident, while also teaching us compassion and different ways to love. Travel taps into your emotions, even the one you did not know existed, and magnifies it for the process of self-discovery. While there are good trips and bad, one always learns something new or realises and accepts something they already knew.
Also read: An introspective journey in Gokarna
Only Crisis And No Care
Since the outbreak of COVID-19, India has been under various kinds of lockdown restricting any kind of movement to slow down the spread of the virus. While lockdown rules get relaxed, it is still not safe to be out as we were before, so most of us are still stuck at home. We have new routines. We are anxious. We have been socially deprived of company. The unpredictability of the situation can put a person on edge. During times like these, the self becomes fickle. Today you feel yourself and tomorrow the furthest from it. With the ongoing situation, it is common to feel stuck in limbo. We can neither go back to the routine nor impulsively take the ‘never happening trip to Goa’.
1. Keep Yourself Occupied, But Not In denial
Travelling is not an option, so discovering oneself gets tougher than expected. The easiest thing to do for both body and mind is to stay busy. Develop new routines through this lockdown period. But don’t bury yourself in them. Check in with your emotions and sit down and examine them. Don’t run away from whatever you’re feeling. Pour your heart out into a journal or to a friend, and start to feel whole again. Accept that this is a bad situation for the whole world, that you are not alone in feeling the way you do. Feel anger, pain, loss along with happiness because it’s okay. You are not supposed to have it together during a global crisis. It is fine to sit at home and watch the same shows again and again if that makes you feel like yourself during this self-isolation period.
Also read: 7 easy hobbies you can pick up at home
2. Visit The ‘Yester-you’
Another way to emerge a hero out of this quest is to go through your old stuff. Photos, books, the half-written diaries, and videos to get the true essence of the person you once were. Relive those memories, see what speaks to you the most. Which version of yourself did you feel most attached to? Welcome it back. Look at your pictures from a past trip and try to remember the moments where you felt at peace with yourself. Those memories were made to be recalled at a time like this and act as reminders of your true self. The ugly hairstyle phase, the tacky clothes phase, the bad friends phase, the list goes on. Despite the choices, those memories will shine some light in the otherwise clouded sky of yours and on the path of finding yourself.
3. Look Outside Your Digital Windows
The new normal is chaotic. When you try something new, don’t look at it to check if you are satisfied with it. Be impressed by the parameters you set for yourself, and not by likes and comments. Being indoors has become synonymous with being glued to the phone. Look away from screens and seek only one true validation from yourself. Place your opinion the highest as you are all you have at the end of the day during this self-isolation.
In And Out, As Simple As That
Get back in touch with nature. Dig your fingers through soil as you plant a sapling. As you go deeper, break your walls and air out your insides. Since you are in self-isolation go to your terrace and look up at the sky. As the sun sets and rises again, remind yourself that you will rise the next day too. As the warmth of the sun travels through your body, let it unlock everything you have been hiding. Let out the breath you’ve been holding.