People in their 20’s often hear how this is the stage in their life where they learn to grow and find themselves. It’s a peculiar stage of life. They’ve finished (or at the least nearing the end) of their schooling and are supposed to enter the workforce. A couple of years back, the biggest of their problems were keeping their grades up and maintaining friendships. As they enter their 20’s, they’re now expected to know how to do adult things and have an entire life plan mapped out.
And yet, pretty much a majority of people in their 20’s don’t really know what they want to do with their lives. They’ve decided on majors that they thought aligned with their interests. They took up internships and other extracurricular activities just to test the waters to see what would stick. And yet, even through all that, some people still don’t have a clear picture of what they want to do for the rest of their lives.
But, the beauty of our 20’s, as explained by Zara Carbonell in her book “Lost You, Found Me”, is that it’s a time where we are free to make mistakes. We’re free to discover new passions and give up on dying ones. That in life, there will be doors of opportunity that will open themselves for us and there will be doors that we’d have to reluctantly close.
Carbonell illustrates this point through various examples all throughout the book. From breaking up with a long time partner, falling short in the goal she spent years working hard for, to a near-death experience, every single one of these times, she lost a little part of herself. May it be the young, naive, and innocent notion of love, the goal she set out for herself ever since she was young, or that sense of her true self she’d finally found after years of trying, Carbonell, just like the rest of us, lost so many things in her 20’s.
However, this didn’t stop her. Actually, it motivated her to discover and grow herself even more. Through traveling alone, she found happiness and content with herself. There was no need for a partner to love her for she loved herself enough. That it was only when she finally learned to love herself that she was ready to love another.
Through the failure of her long-coveted goal did she finally learn what she truly valued in life. Winning the competition was more than just having a title to her name. But rather, it was an avenue to pursue her passion for social enterprise and helping others.
Through meeting her biological father again did she learn to cherish the family she did have as she grew up. That forgiveness was a powerful thing, not because it made her a better person, but because she’d finally allowed herself to grant herself the forgiveness she truly deserved.
Through meeting someone who she decided to take a risk on - to take that first step forward did she learn that while love starts with butterflies and feeling high on emotions, it was also important that that love be built on calm, peaceful, quiet, and honest roads. That those differences were meant to be troubleshooted and worked on together.
If there’s one thing to take away from “Lost You, Found Me”, it’s that loss isn’t always bad. The grass will always be greener on the other side as long as you find the courage to take that step forward. Mistakes are a natural part of life and that it’s how we overcome these mistakes that shape our paths moving forward.
“We may never know who we become tomorrow and how long that person stays, but what I do know is that life reveals different hues of ourselves in every circumstance we choose to trek through. Self-awareness is but the beginning of a lifelong journey. A journey of learning and unlearning who we are and who thought we wanted to be. A journey of growing up into someone we hope to be proud of, outgrowing the parts of us that only hold us back from our truth. A life-long journey of unearthing truths we had forced to shun for way too long within our soul, a life-long journey of revelations.”
Everyone has their own stories wherein they “Lost You, Found Me”. Some, they’ve already written, some are mere ideas waiting to be written on paper. With every page we flip, we take another meaningful step towards meeting the people that we’re meant to be.
Read more about Zara Carbonell’s own journey of self-discovery and self-empowerment by grabbing a copy of “Lost You, Found Me” here.
by Madelein Daphne Dy