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  • Writer's pictureNicole Danielle

STORIES FROM THE ROAD | For When You're Lost, That's Where You're Found...


To be fully transparent, which I hope by now you know that I am, I wasn't sure how to kick this first blog off in the new vision of what SOMEWHERE ROAD has evolved into. There are so many things I wanted to, I could have shared. But the one that felt most fitting was a journal entry from the summer of 2021. When I really felt the existence of Somewhere Road in my life & knew it was meant to be so much more than I could see at the time.


Enjoy the first of many "Stories From the Road."


People always believe that the 'path / road to nowhere leads to somewhere' - as if it’s only what’s beyond that empty space.  But to me, I have come to discover that 'empty space' is actually a place within itself.  And it’s a place I call Somewhere Road, an important place to visit at times in our lives.


Journal entry continued...


"This past year, living through the Coronavirus pandemic & navigating a world 'shut down' that no one could have known how to navigate or could have predicted—I’ve heard from so many people who just felt 'lost' or didn’t know what they wanted anymore in life or where to go from that moment they were in.  People who felt lost, alone, confused, scared, living an untruthful life as the pressures of the outside world were closing in on them… but within those feelings was also a tone as if they should be ashamed for feeling that way.  And I can no longer ignore the cries of others nor the screams within me begging to be heard. And what I want to say to so many is 'You’re not alone!  And guess what—it’s actually OK to feel all these things because it’s saying ‘I don’t want to go back to who I was before but I’m not quite sure where I want to go next’ and, sometimes, we just need someone to tell us it’s ok to sit with everything we’re feeling and take some deep breaths in hopes of really discovering which next road to head down from here.'  And I can say this because I’ve been there.  Many times.  And I will be again one day. 


I’ve realized the only way to continually evolve as a person is to be OK with losing the person we once were. 

I got to a point in life where I was tired of feeling ashamed for the times I’ve felt 'lost.'  I was over feeling bad about myself for not knowing who I was anymore and for not knowing how to answer the question of 'what’s next?!'  And I no longer wanted to feel stuck… so I created a space to be free to roam - and to be able to sit with my feelings and discover what I wanted next in life.  We all deserve to take the moment needed for our own selves to discover who we want to be on the next part of our journey in this one life. 

 

The idea of Somewhere Road is a small piece of something so much bigger.  But what makes it groundbreaking is that no one ever talks about this space in life or this physical place between Point A and Point B.  It's always the beginning or the end but never acknowledging that the place in between is a very important space to exist - when you sit in silence with yourself within the journey. 

 

Somewhere Road to me will not look like Somewhere Road to you.  The visions I see in my mind when I meditate are not the visions you see.  The way I breathe when I’m being mindful is not the way you do.  Somewhere Road is the space we take for ourselves when we give ourselves permission to quiet the world enough and listen to who we are inside in order to discover what we want next.  Where we want to go.  Who we want to be.  People think of being 'lost' as a bad thing.  Wandering is a bad thing.  Roaming is a bad thing.  When actually, it is mentally healthy because otherwise we are just stuck and spiraling and living for what the world wants us to be instead of who we are meant to be.

 

The way I always look at life is—if what I have to share impacts one person enough to want to share with others who then are impacted and share with others and so on... well, that's how we positively contribute to humanity.  When people walk through life not knowing who they are or what they want, they settle into what others expect of them and end up feeling 'stuck.'   And stuck, is a very dangerous place to be.  I can’t tell you how many times in life I have felt stuck—in relationships, in jobs, in the mindset that I needed to act as others expected.  I’ve let people who are stuck in their ways stop me from being my most authentic self and I could no longer be a part of it.  I was tired of feeling stuck, so I created a space where I was free to roam.  And that place is being lost on Somewhere Road.    

 

We are all capable of rising up and getting through the hard things in life but oftentimes, life doesn’t want us to know we can.  I truly believe others, just like me, have been made to feel as though no one can understand the hard things we go through at times or we are made to believe we should be ashamed of ourselves for feeling a certain way.  No one in this world will have walked in my shoes but I have never walked in theirs’.  No one in this world may have lived my exact story but the universal message we all share in the hard things we go through in life will be able to connect us all.  And what I hope Somewhere Road can do is allow others to take a moment to realize there are others who have been there too.  We don’t have to feel like no one understands because, the truth is, we all do. 

 

This isn't just a small community thing nor a country thing but, rather, a thing that can positively impact the world.  But it starts right here, right now, with my own belief in the idea of Somewhere Road.

 

My son, who is almost 5 years old, is 'nonverbal' and has Autism.  Having a child who cannot communicate with words… life has given me a new voice to speak with in order to help others navigate this beautifully maddening world. 


I truly believe that sometimes, you have to get lost because that’s how YOU are found." 





I embrace the feeling of being lost because, to me, it means I have reached the point of realizing I no longer want to be stuck but I also am not sure where to go.  People don’t want to admit they’re lost because society has made us believe we should be ashamed if so.... like how dare you not know who you are or what you want to do with your life or what gender of a person you like?  How dare you talk publicly about such a thing as feelings and desires and yourself?  “How dare you show weakness?” they say, as if asking yourself  “What do I really want?” is embarrassing.  It’s not embarrassing—in fact, it is brave!  Admitting you know where you are is not where you want to be is far better than remaining stuck.


Somewhere Road may not be one specific destination, but it can still guide us through unknown times.  When you think about all the things you need to bring yourself out of the dark—mindfulness, prayer, meditation, music, love—you know you can't hold those things as you would a tangible object. But that's the beauty of these things that lift us out of the darkness. We don't need to hold them in our hands because we believe in the idea of them and what they mean in our life.


That same approach is how I hope you can resonate with the core meaning of getting lost on Somewhere Road.  However you are lost, I hope you know you belong with everyone else out there just trying to find the next best version of themself.  This is about inclusiveness.  No judgment.  You’re not alone—we all feel lost sometimes, in who we are and what we’re meant to do in this life, and that can be a beautiful place to be.


For when you’re lost, that’s where you're found.

Or is it actually… For where you’re lost, that’s when you’re found?! 



The world expects us to just know, to have it all figured out.  Get from Point A to Point B, do not wander and most certainly do not be lost in life.  Always know who you are.  The reality is, we almost never do but the pressures can make us feel so lost at times. 


20 years ago, my Ethics professor at Roger Williams University said to me “You’re a romantic stuck in a jaded society.”


20 years later, I now realize… 


Fuck.


He was right.

 

Who am I?  I’m a dreamer who simply got “lost” in reality, yet everyone around me kept saying “You’re not lost!”

 

And yet, I’ve just been over here silently screaming “Damn it—Just let me be lost!”


It’s in the moment of feeling lost that I can escape the noise of the outside world just long enough to be free to fucking roam.  I’m not running as far as I can, as fast as I can to some invisible finish line. I’m lost, but not panicking.  What is it really? It’s me, taking a moment to dance freely in my own space and say “Hey, I just need this moment right here and now to exist in and not have any answers and, guess what world, that’s OK!” 


I’m not saying be lost in this space and exist in it forever because that’s not healthy.  I’m also not saying to run off and do stupid or dangerous things.  I’m just saying—let’s all stop beating ourselves up so much for not being perfect, and for wanting to live a life beyond the one others expect us to live.


Nobody happily skips down the same smooth path their entire life.  My son, Crosby, is one of the happiest humans I have ever seen and even he has bad days. 


How empty our lives would be if we never wandered.

Doing something as simple as steering away from your everyday routine, playing hooky, or doing something spontaneous or unexpected can help us learn who we really are, away from the noise.  Sometimes we just need a break and there is nothing wrong with that—we are living all these human experiences and the world has, at some point in all of our lives, broken us and shoved us into the mold they wanted us to fit into. 


But we’re not meant to fit in the mold someone else created. 


And after a short walk along Somewhere Road, I know you will begin to discover the new mold you’re forming for your life.


The life you're now remembering... is your own.



XO, Nicole

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