Thoughts on Being Lost

“I was lost, but now I live here! I have severely improved my predicament!” –Mitch Hedberg


Some thoughts on being lost:

–We tell people to get lost because we want them to go away, and presumably, be so successful at their going away that they never come back. At least until we’re un-mad at them.

–To say something or someone is lost presumes that there is an opposite state that’s possible. Generally the belief is that this other state is better–‘lost’ is bad.

–When I was in London studying abroad, I used to like to take the Tube into central London and start walking. Walking wherever I wanted. Walking without thinking about where I’d end up. I said I was walking to get lost, but really the only reason I would or could let myself do this is because it’s basically impossible to get lost in London when you have a London A-Z in your bag, which I always did. I could try on the danger and fragility of being lost without the fear of actually having to stay lost. It was over in an instant–it was over whenever I wanted.

–Often we will say that we want to ‘get lost in ____’ (fill in the blank). This moment, your eyes, this book. This, however, is not a tonally negative use of the word ‘lost’ or the idea of getting lost. We relish this type of going away; we lust for it; we grasp it and try to make it last. Getting to go away is good–but what are we going away from? Reality? Or is it what we are going to? Is getting lost about going away or going to?

–Lately I have ‘felt’ lost. I’m not sure what this means other than when I look at myself in the mirror I see the person I’ve come to understand is me, but I don’t feel empowered in that recognition. It’s a factual thing: here you are. You are  here, standing in this spot in this room. It is funny to be so fixed and yet feel so adrift. Based on what I know about lost-ness, it’s something I want to get out of. I need to find something. I need to be found?

–When we feel lost, can we change that, flip it in a way, to ‘lost in’? Can I change my current state of mental disquiet to one of saturated exploration? Can I build a house and improve my predicament?

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