What an unsettling and nerve racking feeling. . . the feeling of being lost. I have felt this lost emotion a few times in my life. It’s interesting to me how no one seems to tell you that this emotion may occur, and if it does. . . it’s okay. It is a natural feeling in life. Since I have heard so little about this issue I have often felt like I was a freak or there was something wrong with me. Being lost is almost indescribable for me. I wonder how to properly and correctly convey this emotion. It is like I am wandering around in space not knowing where or how to land. I don’t recognize my surroundings. I am in a wonderland where people are telling me to do one thing, and I don’t know whether to do it or something else. If I do something else, I don’t know what that would be. I feel like I am stagnant and don’t know how to move forward. I want to progress, but my feet are too heavy to even lift off the ground. My body is wandering about not finding its rightful place anywhere. This feeling has arisen in me when I find I am uncertain about where my life was headed or where I even wanted it to go. I don’t even know the questions to ask myself in order to rectify this lost feeling. If that is the case, where do I begin?
The first time this lost emotion occurred was after college. Once I graduated from college, like most people I had to get a job. The problem was I had no idea what kind of job. I had majored in marketing in college but besides the few marketing classes I took, I had no idea what marketing really was. Since being an intern never occurred to me, I lacked the hands on experience. A few months after college, I landed a sales job. I took this job, because I needed a job; but I hated it. I didn’t know what I wanted to do, but I knew it wasn’t selling copier and fax machines. This is where I initially felt lost. No one had told me that it would be so difficult to find a job out of college. I guess I expected to have my diploma and that would make people want to hire me. Well, as it is said, “Welcome to the real world. ” I felt like I had failed. My first “real” job was not what I thought it would be, but that wasn’t the worst part. I had no idea what I was doing or where I was going. I didn’t even know where I would like to go. I had a college degree, but what did that really mean? It didn’t mean I could get a job that was the right job for me, because I didn’t even know what that was. So, what was I going to do?
Years before this happened, I had made a list of everything I wanted to accomplish or do in life, called “Things To Get Done. ” Some of the things were even beyond my control (be an aunt). This list ranged from places I wanted to go to things I wanted to do (have someone shampoo my hair in bed without getting a single drop on anything). It varied from personal (send someone flowers for no reason) to professional items (be financially successful) and from fun (play Scrabble with my best friend) to adventurous (skydiving) to challenges (herd cattle or work on a farm). This is still an ongoing list for me.
On this list was getting my master’s degree. So, since I had no idea what I wanted to do, a year after college, I went back to school for my master's. I didn’t know what else to major in, and marketing did interest me, so I stuck with it. I even moved out to Los Angeles, because I thought I could find a marketing job in the entertainment industry. I thought maybe I could do marketing, but I just was not in the right industry. I was in LA for a year, and once again, I felt lost. I felt like I was just spinning around in circles. . . not really knowing what I was doing out there anymore. I wasn’t even working in marketing or the entertainment industry. I felt my world was crumbing around me. The walls and ceiling were caving in and I was about to be crushed. There was no way out. . . or no way that I could visually see. I wondered if anyone else felt the same way. How did they handle it? What did they do to rectify this feeling of despair? I moved home and continue my MBA. Although I knew I might not ever use this degree, I wanted to finish because it was a goal of mine. The further this degree proceeded, the more I knew that although I enjoyed marketing, it was not my passion. I knew there was something else out there for me, but I what was it? I thought about it and said, “I can’t tell you what I want to do, but I can tell you what I don’t want to do. ” This is where things started to change for me. I knew I needed to figure out what I wanted to do in life. Something struck me, I decided the solution was to narrow down my options by beginning with what I knew I didn’t want to do. Along with my graduate classes, I took undergraduate classes that interested me. I knew if I continued down this path, over time, something would eventually jump at me. This was such a great experience for me, because I did things that I never, otherwise, would have done. I took a painting class and found I was pretty good. I took and acting class and thought I found my passion.
I decided, for my last full semester for my MBA, to study abroad in Norway for six months. What an amazing adventure that was. It opened my eyes and my mind and forever changed me. When I came back, I realized I needed to move to LA and give acting a try. The next year, I did just that. In making this decision, I heard negative things from people I knew. One of my friends said to me, “When you know what you are meant to do, it won’t matter what other people say or think. You won’t care about it, because you’ll feel it with everything you are and will know you’re doing what is best for you. ” Although LA did not go as I thought it would, it went even better. One day, my roommate suggested I start my own local talk show, and so I did. It was a success, and I also found my calling. This would have never had happened if I had not taken an acting class a few years before and thought I wanted to be an actor and then moved to LA. Now I finally knew what I wanted to do. My friend was right, it didn’t matter what other people said or thought.
When I begin to think or dwell on what other peoples’ negative opinions are, my own thoughts will begin to overpower those opinions. My mind may listen to them for a few minutes, but then my heart will speak even louder. The results always come back to my heart and listening to myself. Only you know what is best for you, for no one else is living your life. Getting lost is not a bad thing. I think it is a natural thing, to not know what you are doing or what you want every second of every day. There are so many people who really don’t know what they want to do in life. They don’t know where their life is headed and don’t know how to even begin to find out where they want it to go. In college, it never occurred to me to take any artistic classes. I always thought I was more of the business type, whatever that is. We all have business sense and we all have creative sense. It is just a matter of allowing ourselves to tap into them both. One may be dominant, but it doesn’t mean you can’t do the other one. Take a chance and ask yourself what intrigues you about other avenues of life.
We all have heard the question, “If money wasn’t an issue, what would you do in life?” If we have never given ourselves the opportunity to tap into other parts of ourselves, this may not be easy to answer. We may not know, because we have yet to discover we are actually capable of doing something we thought we couldn’t do. I never thought I could paint. Taking that one class in college told me that I could, and now I do it as a hobby and absolutely love it.
When you’re in a wonderland space or when your walls and ceiling are caving in, be brave enough to look at the dim little speck of light that is in the lower left hand corner trying to make its way through. You have to have exceptional vision to sometimes see it. I am not saying that whatever you find you will want to do as a career, but you will discover things that you did not know exist. You will realize you are more than business or arts or any other title that supposedly defines you. You can wear many hats. . . and you will, if you allow yourself to do so. You can be all the parts of who you are. You will understand yourself more and be able to embrace all of these aspects of yourself, allowing yourself to truly love you for you. You just have to be willing to get lost in order to discover them. . . and yourself.
After earning a bachelor's degree and while earning a master's degree, both in marketing, Jessica Rector began to second guess herself and her career choice. Although she enjoyed this field, she felt her passion was elsewhere. She says, “Although I wasn't sure what it was, I felt there was something missing in the marketing field for me. So, I set out to find what what I really wanted to do. I needed to listen to what my heart and soul were saying to me. " Through this journey, Ms. Rector traveled down paths that allowed her to take control over her life. She had her own television talk show in Los Angeles for two years. She currently spends her time empowering, edifying, and motivating others to live their life to the fullest.