I have a couple friends back at school that continually like to make the joke that I am going to Argentina to 'find myself'. It's funny, because for a lot of people, this is exactly the sort of declaration they make before launching off on a year long mission trip, or travelling the world. It comes across as a bit cheesy and short-sighted, because of course 'finding yourself' isn't limited by the location. Also, what does it even mean to 'find yourself'? Aren't people continually changing?
However, as I have been sitting around my house this last week, I have had a lot of spare time. Our upstairs is being renovated, and most of my friends are out of town, so my options for activities to do have been somewhat limited to the downstairs room of my house, and running errands with my mother. At first, this was a very pleasant break in contrast to the stress and busyness that had been overtaking my life for what feels like forever. I thought I would relish in the endless hours of TV-binging, with not a care in the world-- and at first I did. And yet it didn't take very long before I felt like I was wasting this free time, like I should be doing something more productive with my time (duh, I know). But I didn't know what to do. I had a few ideas, but on the whole, I was drawing a bit of a blank.
And this is when I realized that due to being so busy with school, and probably to a certain extent of personal laziness, I still haven't taken the time needed to really figure out what I enjoy doing. Sure, I know I like music, the outdoors, my friends and family. But when I have a chance to sit down and really improve myself at something, or learn a lot more about a certain topic, or go do a certain activity extensively, I don't instantly have a list of things that come to mind. This led me into thinking about whether I really 'knew myself'. If there's more to me than school and friends, than what was it? It really bothered me that I didn't seem to have an answer.
So I thought about it (while hanging upside down from my bed, of course), and came up with a somewhat informal type of summer project. I'm not sure I would phrase it as 'finding myself', as I think that sort of insinuates a deeper more philosophical task, but more along the lines of taking time to explore. Trying new things, putting more time into things I already love, rediscovering old hobbies: really taking the time to see what I enjoy, and then pursuing those interests, even if it takes some effort. Because I think until I really take the time to do so, I won't feel like I'm making the most of each day. So in a way, I guess 'discovering yourself' is important after all, even if it isn't in the sort of way people might think of, and is worth taking the time to do.