1. past and past participle of lose.
1. unable to find one’s way; not knowing one’s whereabouts.
2. denoting something that has been taken away or cannot be recovered
3. (of a game or contest) in which a defeat has been sustained.
The word “lost” means a lot of things and can be interpreted in a lot of ways. The word “lost” has a fear aspect to it, a negative connotation, like it’s a really, really bad thing to be “lost.” But, it isn’t. Being “lost” can lead you to the most exhilarating places, places for wanderers, places that you can’t simply find by following a map or a set of directions. So when I suggest that we should get “lost” more often, I don’t mean that we should start to lose our house keys or purposely not win a game. What I mean is that we shouldn’t be constantly stressing over our “whereabouts.” We, as people in a society, are so obsessed with “where we are” in our lives. Are we at our high point? A low point? A dive down?
Unfortunately, we lose our lives in this quest to prove to others that we are at an all-time high point. And we do this by buying things we don’t need, doing the things we don’t want to do, adopting the idea that if it’s not uploaded online, it might as well have never happened. We live with this constant pressure to prove ourselves, and it just leaves us unfathomably sad.
Let me give you an example. Say you decide to go to the arcade with your gang of friends. It’s supposed to be fun, go figure. But when you begin to have a strict plan for everything, micromanage every single tiny detail because it needs to be “perfect” and then take dozens of photos to show others how “perfect” it was, all anyone remembers is how they couldn’t play a single game of air hockey “because there wasn’t enough time” and how you forced everyone to take dozens of photos to get that “just right” lighting. We end up losing the importance and purpose of that event so much, it eventually just becomes a photo-shoot. It’s not fun anymore. The solution to this, though, is laughably simple. Just let yourself get lost in the beautiful chaos of everything. You don’t need to let everyone know where you are. You can just experience it for yourself.
The photo above is one of me knee-deep in seawater at a beach in Shelter Island. I didn’t plan on being there. The purpose leaving my house wasn’t so that I could take artsy photos. I didn’t write down on a to-do list to visit the ice cream shop or to bring my cousin along. I didn’t know I’d be riding a ferry until I was on it. The end result though, was gorgeous. Just let things play out in their own funny way for once, and tell me what happens.