Advanced Essay #2: Be Lost

Introduction: The purpose of my essay is to share the idea that people need to be lost to learn how not to become lost again. From this experience, not only will people find themselves anew but they will discover new options, opinions, point of views, information, and beliefs that can help them make choices of their own. Their new understanding of what used to confuse them will guide them away from the hole that they once knew and into the world as a better self. 

One thing I am proud of in this essay is that I can truly share what I feel when it came to my scene of memory. My self-discovery is self-love and writing it in a essay made me believe in it even more. 

One way I want to improve my writing technique for my next paper is to have a clearer analysis. I don't want to keep repeating the same ideas but rather learn how to expand on them. 

My Essay: Be Lost

At some point in our lives, we go through a difficult phase. A phase where we don’t know who we are or why we matter, a phase of questioning our existence and motivation to keep progressing. This phase doesn’t creep up on us and, it can really hurt from where it began. Losing a loved one, dreams crushed, failure, poor health, pain, stress; the list goes on for eternity. It hits us just like a snap of a finger and we had no way of knowing.

When we are lost, we have no feelings, we have no opinion, we are empty. A clean slate. One may think this could be the worst thing in the world because it doesn’t make you human. Thandie Newton had a TED talk on the value or non-value of having a “self.” She quoted, “I always wondered why I could feel others' pain so deeply, why I could recognize the somebody in the nobody. It's because I didn't have a self to get in the way. I thought I lacked substance and the fact that I could feel others' meant that I had nothing of myself to feel. The thing that was a source of shame was actually a source of enlightenment.” If you have no feelings, you’re perceived as damaged, but this is an advantage in life because we get to see and learn more. Newton was able to see others’ emotions and understand them because she was lost. It’s “a source of enlightenment” where we can discover new things in our lives. Being lost is like not having an identity and no identity means no judgment. You can see all the options from the different point of views and from there, you can make choices of your own.

An example of someone who feels like they have no identity is Ta-Nehisi Coates, the author of Between the World and Me. In his book, he talks about how school was one of the ways that made him lost. As stated by Coates, “I did not master the schools, because I could not see where any of it could possibly lead” (115). In many cases, students wonder when the information they are given will apply to the real world hence Coates stating “I could not see where any of it could possibly lead.” The idea of not knowing what to do leads to the sense of one being lost because they do not understand the purpose of it all. He became lost because he was confused about the options that were just handed to him.

But this is where Coates was able to see everything as it is. At first, he believed that the world was cruel for people of color like himself and that it was almost entirely impossible to change that. However, when he was lost, he was able to discover more  opinions that he hadn’t thought about. He observed how people like himself and people who are completely different from him behaved. He saw individuality, selfishness, fear, confidence, and much more. Through this, he was able to re-accept himself in his own ways while understanding the choices and behaviors of others even if he doesn’t agree with them. From understanding more of what confused him , Coates was able to grow more as a person and still have the advantage of an open mind.

Times when I went through this dark phase was when I’ve lost people who I thought couldn’t live without. I’ve had a recent experience of being lost when I was peeling green beans. I was annoyed by the task but it didn’t matter because I had to help cook if I wanted to eat. My mother walked towards me as she walked out of the kitchen. “What happened to Nasir? You guys haven’t been talking much lately,” she asked concerningly but casually.

“Nothing happened,” I responded monotony. I blanked out because I didn’t know what to say. I wasn’t thinking about him before but now I am, which  put me in an off mood. She continued to ask me random questions that I didn’t know the answers to. Did I do this, did he do that, did he get a new girlfriend, did you guys fight? I didn’t really know why or what happened. I already accepted that it was okay for humans to change their feelings, but I questioned why it was always them to change their minds. Was it me? Was I not enough or am I just someone who eventually becomes unwanted? It was my third time going through a relationship and they all ended the same way.

But now looking back, I can prove myself wrong. I discovered that for me, love from another person is never enough because true love comes within. Other people may need someone to show them love but, it’s different for me. I only looked at love in one direction, one image, one meaning, one way but the state of being lost showed me otherwise. It forced me to open the doors that were behind me, the doors that I ignored and found unappealing. But the new doors were what I was missing. They were the perspectives that I had never even thought about yet they were the ones that I learned the most from. I picked and chose what I didn’t like and what I do like. I chose me.

Life hits us like a snap of a finger because it’s carving the right path to ourselves. It forces us to be at our worst so we can discover what makes us feel best. But the idea of being lost has more purpose than to smash us down and then rebuild. It’s to break down the walls that narrow our horizon of the things we ignore and don’t know, and then rebuild. The state of the lost phase is truly when we can become the better versions of ourselves because not only can we find ourselves again but we can also understand others. Understanding other beliefs, opinions, thoughts and ideas more will prevent ourselves from becoming lost again.