Navigating adulthood can make one feel quite lost at times. Things are changing, new responsibilities need to be taken care of, and friends are moving on to their own things and you’re left alone, having to fend for yourself. For some, this may feel terrifying. The world that you grew accustomed to is suddenly so much bigger and scarier. It’s normal to need some sort of guide when these feelings arise. Sometimes this guide comes in a book written by someone who's been where you are and who’s found her own way of navigating through that complicated life stage known these days as “adulting”.
Lost You, Found Me is a book on self-love and self-discovery by Zara Carbonell, a former beauty queen and now a successful entrepreneur. It details her journey through her 20s and the ups and downs that came with it. The book centers mostly around her breakup with longtime love and the heartbreak she had to overcome, but there are also a lot of life lessons that can be learned from giving this book a chance.
By the time you reach your 20s and get a job, there may be no more time for your own dreams, but there is no harm in entertaining one’s inner child now and then. There are times when one would forget to take a much-needed break and indulge in an activity or a pastime that they enjoy doing. There’s no harm in imagining a beautiful sprawling veranda painted with the hues of a sunset. It’s so easy to get swept up in deadlines and work, and never get a chance to just be there for yourself and the fantasies that remind you how precious life is. Breaks allow us to recharge and think about what we want to put out into the world.
When Carbonell was a child, she wanted to be a superhero like her lolo as she believed that that was how she would be able to help others, much like he did. Her classmates may have laughed at her and told her that she needed to think of a real job, but it didn’t stop her from fighting for her belief that there was a chance she could be a superhero herself. And, she was ultimately right. Superheroes do exist. Maybe just not in the way that a child may picture, with a dramatic cape billowing in the wind and a secret identity. But, they are indeed out there. Health care workers, lawyers, teachers. Professionals who have devoted themselves to helping others and put others’ needs before their own. Those are the real superheroes that children must look up to.
In her book, Carbonell highlighted that at the start of the pandemic, she made the difficult decision of quitting her job as it no longer brought her joy. It was a risk, but in the end, she felt free after doing so as she felt she now had time to pursue the things she actually dreamt of doing. She could finally do things for herself. In life, difficult decisions are quite unavoidable but in the end, it makes you happier, it would have been worth the risk. Self-love should always come first.
By Arianne Sundiang