Finding Yourself (in Toronto)

Matt | Finding Yourself | Saturday, March 20th, 2010

Sitting here in my apartment overlooking High Park and Toronto’s skyline, I’m listening to music, drinking red wine and thinking about being lost.

A long time ago I had this sensation pass through me as I was standing outside a McDonalds crossing a dangerous street in Haidian, Beijing.  At the time I felt lost as I had come to China to find myself only to discover that my problem had come with me.  My problem was me.  You can read that post here. My thoughts at the time were that it was possible to find yourself anywhere in the world and taking some time and reading some great books could help.   A reader commented brilliantly…

I have to disagree with you, though, on finding yourself. I think the reason you can find yourself in another place is precisely *because* you are still there, but your other influences (friends, family, culture, work) are not. You can more clearly see what is you and what is not when you see how you are in a different environment.

So I say to those who want to find themselves: Travel, and read some books while you’re there!

Now that I’m back in Toronto, and again lost, I have to agree with these comments.  I believe it is easier to look at yourself objectively when you are in a new environment; when you can act strange and different; when you can try new things; experiment with you life and no one really cares.  But now I surely cannot do this, can I?.  As I’m back in Toronto and there are some cultural norms and beliefs that I must follow; that I should do; that are required of me.  Aren’t they?

Again, I realized that the problem and the solution are both within me.

While it may be easier to do those exciting, crazy and wild things while you are living abroad in a foreign country, there is no reason why this can’t be done anywhere.  Can you and I be brave enough to do this crazy stuff like follow your dreams and desires; chase your passions instead of the pennies; fail in front of your friends and family and have the strength to stand up again, dust yourself off and keep going?

Yes, you can see clearer in a new environment.  You are seeing a lot of new things and you’re mind, heart and soul are more open than their guarded normal back home self, so it’s easier to see a new side to the same old you.  But again I believe and am hoping to prove that this can be done anywhere.  How?

Do something different.

By shaking up your routines, you feels alive.  By doing new things you may find yourself closer to your passions.  You’ll see new things and possibly new sides to yourself.  Maybe you’ll find love through your actions.

From the words of the great poet, philosopher and song writer Dave Matthews…

…Look
Here are we
On this starry night staring into space
And I must say
I feel as small as dust
Lying down here
What point could there be troubling
Head down wondering what will become of me
Why concern we cannot see
But no reason to abandon it
Time is short but that’s all right
Maybe I’ll go in the middle of the night
Take your hands from your eyes, my love
Everything must end some time
Don’t burn the day away
Come sister my brother
Shake up your bones shake up your feet
I’m saying open up
And let the rain come flooding in
Wash out this tired notion
That the best is yet to come
But while you’re dancing on the ground
Don’t think of when you’re gone
Love love what more is there
We need the light of love in here
Don’t beat your head
Dry your eyes
Let the love in there
There are bad times
But that’s ok
Just look for love in it
There are bad times
But that’s ok
Just look for love in it”

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