I looked in the mirror and realized I didn’t even know who I was looking at. The cliche phrase, “I didn’t even recognize myself anymore” had taken on an entirely new meaning- a confusing whirlwind of detachment and emotional distress.
A bizarre turn of events after a near death experience in which I couldn’t identify with the person I saw; I couldn’t understand who I was or who I was becoming. In the most unexpected way, my life changed completely, for the better, and yet I was still having a full blown identity crisis.
All the things I had understood as being part of a negative turn of life- a falling apart- a rock bottom if you will, were now being blended together into a hurricane of positivity. New beginnings, the beginnings of a better person. As I started to see the world in a new way, the sky painted in magnificent brush strokes on what others would consider a gloomy day, an inner beauty in the hardest to love people, and an untouchable ability to see the light in a pitch black room, I started to feel myself die. This death I had wished for for as long as my heavy heart can remember, had finally arrived. I began to mourn for the loss of who I was, while trying to rejoice the birth of who I was becoming.
It began as a state of panic. Almost an indescribable panic really. It wasn’t a specific worry or a specific fear, but I could feel a panic brewing in the depths of my heart. I had a fear of myself that I still cannot fully describe or understand. One night, it finally fully hit me. I stared into the mirror, my eyes, they stared into the reflection of eyes that were not my own. These eyes in the mirror, they were so bright, so full of hope and light, like marbles radiating the glow of sunshine. These weren’t my eyes. While perceived as a happy and positive person, my eyes always held the truth. A tired weariness, a brokenness of the toll we all face from our day to day encounters with life, each experience being weighed as a burden, rather than just an experience.
Tears started to pour down my face and I started to realize, the ‘me’ I knew and understood was gone. The person who used to stress about losing a sock, taking an extra minute at the coffee shop to help a stranger, getting enraged because someone missed an exit and we’d have to go an extra 5 minutes to the next one, wasn’t there. The person who would be so upset because someone burnt the chicken, didn’t take out the garbage, or because her car wouldn’t start- that person was gone. It was a beautiful thing. The most beautiful of things, actually. However; there was a dark side. The transition from darkness to light happened so rapidly, it wasn’t so much of a transition, but a death and a birth. With death comes mourning. I began to mourn the loss of my old self, while I was so overjoyed and grateful for my new perspective, my new life, I still needed to accept the death of someone I knew for 20 some odd years.
It’s a very interesting concept, the idea of learning who you are when you are well into your 20’s, waiting for each situation to arise, to see how you will react when your autopilot kicks in, and you just are who you are. It’s exciting and scary at the same time, to have to re-meet yourself, to not know how to describe ‘you’ to someone else who might ask the already difficult question of ‘who are you?’ I did some research and found out that I am not alone in this identity crisis following a pivotal life moment, and the psychology term is a Spiritual Crisis. Whatever it may be called, it’s not easy, but it is awesome. I am in it now, ready or not, and I look forward to waking up each day and finding out a little bit more about who I am. Who is me? Who is Larissa? What a beautiful gift.
Larissa is a 20-something who spends her life travelling the world inspiring positivity and happiness around her. She is never afraid to try anything that seems “badass” and has a loud and fearless personality- with a soft spot for the broken hearted. You can find her anywhere an adventure may be brewing (secretly pretending she is not the instigator of the craziness that will ensue). She makes her attitude contagious while hoping to motivate others to be healthy, happy and follow their dreams despite the barriers that may be thrust upon them.
Larissa has recently started up a non-profit organization called Niara- A brand of high quality men’s and women’s athletic-wear that gives 100% of profits to projects in the developing world.
Make sure to pop over to Niara’s Facebook page to #wearchange! Click here to visit Niara.
If you too would like to guest post or advertise your organization on The Blogging Mama or The Death of a 20-Something email me, Lindsay, at firstname.lastname@example.org