Here I Am: Child Of The Islands

Everyone is always talking about finding yourself. I too, I guess used to have this idea that at some point in life I just figure out who I am, what I want; find myself, and then that’s it, I’m set. However, the older I get, the more I am starting to realize that maybe there will never be a moment like that. Maybe we don’t grow to become that one person, and then we stay that way. Probably it’s more of a life long process, and we are ever changing, in what we want and what we need. What we might come to peace with over time is maybe accepting ourselves, and the changes in ourselves and our surroundings. Accepting that we change our minds, that today we don’t want what we wanted yesterday, and accepting that the surroundings we need today might not be what we need tomorrow. Maybe we are just meant to be lost and found, over and over again, discovering a new aspect of ourselves each time.

I have felt lost many times in my life already. Probably I have been more lost than I have been found, and that’s probably part of life for most people while growing up. I have realized it’s easy for me to lose myself to different things in life, especially during hectic times, when life seems to move around me in full speed and I have no time to really think about where I am standing in all of it. Sometimes I go with the flow for so long that I lose track of shore, and then it takes me a while to find steady ground again.

I think it’s important to allow yourself to get lost. It’s like when you arrive to a new city; the best way to get to know a city is to go and get lost in it. This is how I choose to see life as well. When you allow yourself to get completely lost from time to time, you discover new areas, new roads, and you learn to find your way around, and eventually, at some point, you will also run in to yourself again.

You know how they often say that things are usually just under our nose, and we are just to blind to see it. Things are really like that a lot of times. When I was growing up I always spent the summers with my family in our sailing boat, going from island to island. It was always a part of my life which I took for granted. I used to sometimes be jealous at friends who did other things on their vacations, like flying to various holiday resorts in other countries with their families, while I was just sailing between the islands in Sweden. Not that I didn’t love it, because I did, but it was just the most normal thing, nothing special.

At this point in my life I have lived away from Sweden for 6 years. Those summers on the boat are no longer something I can take for granted. At first I missed it, at some point I didn’t think so much about it anymore, and then I re experienced it last summer and was struck by the realization of how much it actually meant to me, and how much I had missed it without even knowing. I went for a walk by myself on one of the islands, no people around, just me, the sun, the smell of salt water in the wind, the seagulls, the trees, and the warm rocks under my bare feet. As I was walking, thinking about nothing special, I suddenly stopped and went “hey, here I am!”, and there I was. I felt at home, and in peace. And it’s not just about the tradition and spending time with my family, it’s about the fact that being on a boat among the islands really takes away all musts and have to’s. You are away from civilization, away from wifi, there is absolutely nothing you have to do, not so much you can do, nowhere you need to be, so you are forced to simply just be, clear your mind of everyday worries and just relax. I think this is an important thing to learn how to do when you grow up, so many today simply don’t know how to just be and enjoy the moment without something happening all the time, or without checking Facebook notifications on our phones, and similar things. So many have no idea who they are, or what they are supposed to do when stripped from all the distractions we have for ourselves.

I definitely had a moment of finding back to myself on that island. Realizing what a big part of me this life is, and how much it has given me while growing up. I realized how much I want it to continue be a part of my life, a place I can come to when feeling lost and needing some peace in my mind. It also made me realize, how important I think it is for people to have just that; a steady place to seek safety and comfort in. For every person this place is something else; for some it is religion, for some it’s maybe a person, for some a place or an activity, or a belief in anything. For me it is my islands.