Discovery (aka Have You Tried Not Looking?)

  • Definition: Giving up actively searching for yourself all over the World, only to find you had always had yourself right there with you, wherever you went.

“All this time I was finding myself, and I didn’t know I was lost”
– Avicii  (From: Wake Me Up) –

“Who am I?”

For the majority of my life I tried to find an answer to that question. And I always felt incredibly lost for not ever finding it. Maybe that’s the most important reason for me to always have felt an indescribable desire to travel: what if I find myself somewhere?

I think I honestly – deep down, but honestly – thought finding yourself would be like meeting a friend. Like you’d just bump into you, start a conversation and click. And that if you found yourself, wherever you kept yourself hidden in the World, you’d be complete. A full, whole you.

But I wasn’t finding me, I was only finding bits and pieces of myself. Things, such as character traits or habits, that I liked and disliked. Focus points I wanted to change. I met people I wished I was a bit more like. And I met people I never want to be like! But I never met a complete version of me.

One day I got tired of looking and gave up. I stopped, sighed, and figured I’d take a break. Like reading a tough book: sometimes, in trying to understand it better, it helps to put it away for a while before picking it up again. I thought of myself as such a book and decided to put my seemingly eternal search for the real me aside.

And that’s when I found myself.

I wasn’t hidden between the pandas in China. I wasn’t tucked away among the students in Ireland. I wasn’t playing hide-and-seek on that bus in Canada. And yet I was in all those places!

The real me was inside me all along. I just forgot to look in the most obvious of places, because I never imagined I’d be hiding there. I never thought I was already me; I always figured I was a bad version of myself and I needed to change, change, change. That I’d eventually go some place and magically transform into the person I longed to be.

And while I was out hunting for myself, inwards I was silently becoming the person I was looking for.

That strong woman I always wanted to be, is already inside me. I took her with me everywhere I went, not even knowing she was there. But when I stopped desperately trying to find her, she found me instead.

I am still growing and learning, but knowing I am complete after all is my biggest discovery yet.

“Who am I?”

I am me, Samantha. I am strong, I am stubborn but sweet, and I am great at hiding ;)

Who are you? How did you find yourself?

21 thoughts on “Discovery (aka Have You Tried Not Looking?)

  1. An additional problem with finding yourself is that you continue changing–we all do. Bertrand Russell wrote of an ax that had been in the family for generations. The blade had cracked and been replaced twice, and the handle had broken and been replaced three times, but it was the same ax. By the same token, all of us are changing regularly on a molecular level and on a cellular level. Likewise, each day lived brings new experiences that shape us. Is any of us the same self we once were… or will be? J.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I agree, J. But I think the core essence, our soul if you will, is less subject to change. Growing and learning can make us stronger, but who we are deep down inside is more difficult to change.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Ah, I love that song by Avicii!

    I also loved this journey of self-discovery you took us on in this post. I think every choice we make brings another piece to the puzzle that is ourselves. We’re always searching for who we are, but we should also remember that who we are is a choice. We can choose the kind of person we want to be 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I agree with you, Jade. Who we are is a mixture of personality, upbringing, culture, peers, and personal development (and I probably forget a few factors). But it feels really good finding out about the core you :) Knowing the base around which you grow and add pieces is with you always.


    1. Trying to find yourself is not a bad thing, it’s just you’re not going to find anything if you keep looking on the outside only. I guess that’s what I did. Like I’d find my soul hidden under a tree in China or something, haha! It’s right inside me and that was the last place I looked, funnily enough.


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