I once was lost, but now I’m found

For those of you who have followed me since the beginning of the blog, or have read back, this has been an incredible year of change for me. Instead of dwelling on how things weren’t working out how I had planned, or the fact that I felt like I’d lost half a decade of my life, I focused on me.

To some, it will seem very selfish to plan to take months, potentially a year, to focus on myself. It is, and that’s the point. I spent the last 5 years of my life working to make sure someone else was happy before me. I let myself lose friends, distance myself from my family, be unhealthy, unhappy, and overly stressed for the sake of having someone else tell me they love me. And while we had some absolutely amazing times, full of fun and experiences I’ll never have for the first time again, I lost who I was to become more of what he wanted, or what worked to support his goals, without him ever thinking about mine.

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When this “happy” life came to a halt in February, I spent time being really sad, angry, and wondering what I could do to get it back. And then a sign/opportunity came that would prove a turning point. I escaped to Lake Austin Spa Resort with the goal of figuring out what I want, both personally and professionally, from my life. I spent several days being pampered, enjoying healthy, yet delicious, food, and being with my thoughts. Cell phones aren’t permitted for use outside of your personal cabin, so it was exactly what I needed.

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It was easy to be alone with my thoughts drinking coffee looking at this each morning, and walking along it several times a day.

I’ve spent the last 6 months running, exploring, and focused on remembering who I am, and what I love. And last weekend in Chicago, I reappeared. And like another sign, I read chapter 11 in Mile Markers by Kristin Armstrong (Thanks for the suggestion Karen!) Chapter 11 is titled “Identity” and while I feel like every chapter in this book speaks to me (except the one on motherhood), this one hit at exactly the right time.

“Reconnecting with our passions, the things we have loved since we were little girls, is more than remembering who we were. It is the culmination of who we were, who we are, and who we are becoming. It is the evolution of a life. It is your I am statement. Chase it down.” – Kristin Armstrong

Over those 5 days in Chicago, I remembered who I am. I found myself having conversations with strangers over dinner about travel and politics. I befriended the marketing team from runWestin, providing me with friendly faces several times a day. I had fun, by myself. I explored, experienced, and didn’t think about who was judging me, because I didn’t care.

I wore running clothes everyday. I explored the city for hours. I used to say I’d love to explore places by bike, and the response I would get was “you’d whine about it after a little while” or “you’re too lazy to actually do it”. Well, I explored Chicago by bike and foot, the day after my half marathon, for hours. I loved every minute of it.

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And riding along the ocean lake, I found myself feeling incredibly overwhelmed with happiness and joy that I was not just doing this, but that I found myself again. After years of being pushed into my personal attic, I let myself out, and cannot wait to see what I can do next.

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What is your I am?
What was the last thing you did that made you happy?
Have you ever let yourself be changed to meet someone else’s expectations?

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12 thoughts on “I once was lost, but now I’m found

  1. This is one of the best posts I have read in a long time. Not a lot of people write a post detailing very personal, very painful & very honest things that have happened to them over the course of a couple of years. Your honesty shows that everyone has the same struggles & triumphs everyday of their life but we also have totally different dreams & goals.

    You are right, we need to remember who we are not who we think other people think we are/should be. Do things that matter to you. I for a long time was afraid to travel alone, & go out and do things by myself but I finally realized that I can do these things & have fun doing them. Just because none of my in person friends don’t run doesn’t mean I can’t have fun doing it. If I had the time/money I would be traveling all over running & visiting the awesome places here in the different states along with an assortment of sporting events.

  2. Great theme. Great writing. And proud to have been just a very small percentage of that weekend, Cyanne. Wishing you nothing but the best. Enjoy Philly.

  3. Great theme. Great writing. Great story. Thanks for sharing and proud to be a very small percentage of that weekend. Wishing you nothing but the very best. Good luck in Philly…

  4. Wow Cyanne- the vulnerability of this post is so so beautiful. THANK YOU for sharing this. Yes, I spent 3.5 years in ministry (most of it being relationships, really) where the unspoken expectation was that I be a perfect little Christian. It didn’t matter that people said “no one has it all together”, because it was expected that I did, as a staff member. Unloved the job and the people but in the end I had no sense of self left. At all. And I am still in the process of ressurecting that. It’s a very odd thing to be asked what you want in life, and to have no idea how to answer that question. I so hope for a Chicago Experience like you had – and I’m so grateful you had it! I only know you from your blog and twitter, but you have a lot to offer, and the right person (or job) will never demean or neglect any of it!

    • Thank you so much for the kind words. It was one of those things that was tough to write, but I know I’m not the only person to go through it in some way. I know I’m strong enough to share it, and know that I can move forward 🙂

  5. A lot of people always worry about pleasing others that they forget about themselves and then they get ‘lost’. Sometimes it’s important to be selfish to look after yourself and really discover who you are, and to really love who we are.
    Great honest post, thanks for sharing.

  6. What a heartfelt and beautiful post! I admire you taking the time to , finding yourself, your passions and your happiness. I also admire your independence! You do so many things I could never dream of doing alone; moving to new cities, traveling to a race alone…your independence is amazing and you never seem to let anything hold you back. I know how easy it is to get swept up in a relationship and lose parts of yourself to please the other person or live up to their expectations. I’m so happy for you that you were able to take time to put yourself and your needs first.
    Running lets me out of my own personal attic; I was never the athletic or sporty girl. I prove myself wrong over and over again each time I get outside or finish a race. It’s my fuel and part of what keeps me going.
    Here’s to your new beginning in Philadelphia- a fitting city of Independence for someone who can’t be held back! 🙂 Can’t wait to see where your journey takes you next!

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