Let me be honest. I don’t completely know what I’m doing. I know I want to find myself, and that I want to be the best version of myself possible and do things that are truly aligned with my heart and soul. But day-by-day I don’t have any structure apart from being open to meeting new people, discovering new places, and welcoming new opportunities that might help me on my quest. But, there are days that I wonder when these magic answers will appear, and why they haven’t yet.

I always appreciate the signs that show up along the way that help me either learn or, especially, make me feel I’m going the right direction, even if it doesn’t always seem that way.

On a recent trip, I was reading the in-flight magazine and came across an article about Oprah Winfrey. I found in it one of those wonderful signs. In the article Oprah is questioned about how someone finds the inner voice and personal truth she so often talks about. She says:

“Every human being is born with his or her own internal GPS system…….ask yourself: What. Should. I. Do?….What do I really want? What do I need?……These are the most powerful questions because most people have not yet answered them for themselves. They have their mother’s answers….What will it take to make me truly happy?….Most people have not asked those questions.”

I realized I am no longer like those most people. I am asking myself those questions, now. I could not pursue the answers from the comfort of my living room, or meditation in a nearby Buddhist temple, or bars, or classes, or working my ass off. (I tried.) This article also clarified the very questions that I’m asking, when I didn’t consciously realize what they were. In fact, I made a mind map out of them and write down my answers as I find them. (Click here if you can’t see the questions in the screenshot above – I’ve made a JPG file of my mindmap.)

I know what makes me really happy is traveling, meeting new people and discovering new places. There is so much more, but I never wrapped my life around what brings me joy before. This is totally new. It feels uncomfortable. It feels rebellious. It feels wrong, and it feels powerfully right. Allowing myself to actually BE happy feels topsy turvy and crazy. There are moments I feel crazy, but mostly I feel crazy lucky. Though, in truth, I created my luck through hard work, savings, and budgeting, so it’s not luck at all. I had to stand up to the many, many people and voices that told me to be cautious and realize that I was confusing their fears and regrets with my own, when, in fact, I’m just wired differently than many people. I now realize I was brave to confront those beliefs that were not mine and allow myself to pursue what I needed despite those beliefs.

Enjoying Sintra, in Portugal

And so, on those days where I’m frustrated that I haven’t yet found the deep answers I’m seeking, and wonder how long it will take and even judge myself for choosing places (like Europe) that feel too comfortable, I take heart that I had the courage to take the journey and that I’m asking the right questions. Because no matter what, I dared. I’ll never have to regret not having tried to find myself.

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