The Strength in Self Discovery
By Amy Shaw
‘Sometimes you just need to be alone in a beautiful place, to figure everything out.’
I read this quote just before I left, and instantly loved it. I could relate, because it reflected the stage I am currently at in my life right now. This hasn’t just been another standard trip for me. It’s been a breakaway, a retreat, and a chance for me to find my feet again. I think it’s perfectly normal for each of us to feel disconnected, discouraged or lost from time to time. Another failed relationship for me recently has only contributed to that feeling of discernment. It raised a lot of questions within myself that I have subconsciously had to look inwards to find the answers for. In case you’ve never bothered, or tried, or even felt the need to – spending time alone, and reflecting on the kind of person you truly are is actually quite a confronting thing to do. I’ve spent this past week literally pulling myself apart and reevaluating where I want to be in life, and if I am currently happy with the kind of person I am or the choices I’ve recently been making. And to be honest, I cried. A lot. Because I didn’t like a lot of what I had discovered. Not one bit of it.
I noticed a pattern – I’ve spent most of my life with a partner, a companion or in some form of relationship. I don’t know why, but I just have. It’s as if every time I began to work towards a goal, it ended up being compromised because of someone else. Which of course is fine, because that is what you do in a relationship. Your priorities change.. But sadly, so do people. I’ve given so much of myself over the years that it’s at times meant I’ve really sold myself short to keep someone else happy. I’ve tried to see the best in someone even when it’s not actually there, even given some more chances than they deserve, and perhaps worse still – stayed in a toxic situation longer than I should have by convincing myself that yes, I can fix this person and yes, I can change them for the better. This kind of irrational compromise has often led to defeat, only for me to later feel disappointed when things didn’t work out. Repeatedly doing this has left me with very little to work with now that I’m ‘all alone’. And for the first time in my life I’m not afraid, or even bothered by it. Which has brought me to ask the question…
What does Amy really want? I’m suddenly faced with the freedom and independence to really sit down and think hard about this question – and hopefully, in time, find an answer to it. It’s easy to delve away from your true self, ignore the fact that something is missing, and compromise by filling your life with multiple distractions. Some of us sadly spend our entire lives doing this, never quite reaching our full potential because we were afraid to take a risk, make a change or just go for it and jump. And believe me, the distractions along with the excuses you keep telling yourself can range from anything to everything. Whether it be a dead end relationship, the need to feel popular on social media, over indulging in alcohol or drugs, constantly travelling or going on holidays, keeping yourself overly busy, an addiction of some sort, obsessing over appearance, excessively socialising, deliberately using or mistreating others for personal gain – or maybe you just void that unfulfilled gap in another way. We’re all different. But regardless, it’s there – because most of us, not all of us.. But most of us at some point in life have had that ‘empty, missing’ feeling that I’m referring to. The one that makes you occasionally stop and think to yourself ‘Is this really what I want? Am I really happy?’
So I’m telling you – sit down, take some time out and find out what’s missing in your life, or what you’re not happy with. Don’t like what you see? I didn’t either. So make the CHANGE. I dare you.