Back in 2017, when I created my Instagram account, I was a newbie. I used to drop in the hashtags #selfdiscovery #selflove quite liberally. I didn’t quite understand the depth of the two words self love back then. I was this girl, who just knew she wanted to experience everything possible in her life. I haven’t thought what loving myself meant. I was in a very committed relationship with my college boyfriend. I used to say that he meant the world to me. Little did I know that I have ‘loved’ him more than I loved myself. Probably, that was why it didn’t work out.
Last year, I have been forced to tread the scary and uncertain path of self-discovery. I stress on the word ‘forced’. As I said, I have always wanted to experience everything possible, go on risky adventures, live life today like I don’t give a damn about tomorrow. Trust me, I did. After that committed relationship with my college sweetheart ended, I have had the most reckless lifestyle possible. Indulged in partying hard, went on impromptu trips in the midnight and the last nail in the coffin, yup, fell for a bad boy, that many movies and literature try to portray as charming and sexy. Of course, being that girl who read a lot of books on romance and who consumed romance genre like it was her job, I have got attracted to the poster boy of badassery, who had nothing to do with conventional thinking, norms or rules. Of course, things didn’t go well. I wouldn’t call myself a victim. Consciously or unconsciously, I was always drawn to the toxicity lying underneath.
When the things have gone completely downhill, it broke my heart. And that’s when I HAD to choose between the path of self discovery and being a broken soul. You know, my mind was comfortable with being reckless and broken, but my heart, craved for freedom. Behind the doors of that so-called recklessness, I have built myself a cage.
Confusing? I felt the same. For the first time in my life, I felt like I didn’t know myself. What’s behind this worn out mask I wore for so long? That’s when I started reading books, consulted a really great woman, a therapist, who questioned me if I fear of people’s opinions. You see, it was a rapid fire. I laughed and said, “Hell, no!” But that question haunted me for a week. It somehow hit me hard. “Well, Do I?” I tried to laugh it off. It took me a good 2 weeks to realize that may be I do. I have been comfortably living in denial all this while. Denial was easy. Accepting truths was not and will never be.
We are socially connected beings. We do give a damn if others give a damn about us or not. It was a shock for me because I have always thought I never cared what others think of me. Well, there goes my first belief about myself to garbage.
This was just the beginning of unlearning things about myself. I thought I knew what I was. My therapist and the multitude of books I have read made me question a lot of things about my life.
Imagine you wrote a book, very carefully curated, took you almost 10 years of your life, consciously, and then, you question everything about the book. Slowly, you gotta burn the pages of the book one by one. That’s how the journey of self discovery feels like. It is not a cakewalk.
But I can give you one solid reason to go on this path. We can’t be in that ignorant bliss forever. The universe or life, puts you in difficult situations, to let you learn. You will be repeating the same cycle if you don’t learn. One day, it’s going to blow up. A good example, I have read in this book called, ‘The Untethered Soul’, is if you have a thorn pricking in your foot, you remove it. You don’t keep it and build your whole life to protect yourselves from that thorn.
Choosing the path of self discovery is like picking those thorns, one by one, no matter how painful they are.
Let me know if you are interested.
I would love to write more about this.