I HAD AN IDENTITY CRISIS BECAUSE OF THIS.

We’ve been in living in Sydney for 12 whole weeks! It’s been the easiest 12 weeks of my life!
 
HAHAHAHA. As if. It’s been tumultuous. Not for any external circumstances, but simply from what’s been going on in my head. Emotionally, it hit me for six.
 
It’s been said that moving is one of the most stressful things you can do in your life. But I’ve moved plenty of times. As a kid I lived in four different towns. Throughout my life I’ve lived in 13 different houses. I know how to move.
 
This time it was different. Firstly, we were moving interstate. I’ve mentioned before my fear about heading to the ‘big smoke’. The sheer size and unknown of Sydney had me worried if I’d fit in.
 
As it turns out the issue wasn’t with fitting in, but knowing where I fit.
 
In one of my past blog posts I spoke about my seamless transition into retirement from elite sport. I’ve always made a conscious decision to see myself as more than a netballer, so I wasn’t in a position to have an identity crisis around what I do.
 
I recently watched a feature on retirement from elite sport on Insight/SBS (Do yourself a favour. It’s so good). As I listened to athletes such as Libby Trickett, Barry Hall and Lauren Jackson discuss their struggle with retirement, two things were apparent:
 

  1. I was really lucky to transition the way I have.
  2. I was struggling in the same way that they were. But not because of netball.

 
I was having an identity crisis. And it was about where I was living.

I’m a homebody. My home is my safety zone - it’s where I relax, recharge and feel the most like myself. In Adelaide, I felt like the whole city was my home. I knew where to go, how long it would take and who would be there. I knew I could see my family and friends whenever I wanted. I had never been outside of my comfort zone, and I liked it that way thankyouverymuch.
 
I was aware of my Adelaide safety blanket prior to the big move. But I underestimated the impact it would have on me. Sometimes awareness alone isn’t enough, you have to experience it.
 
I have been so overwhelmed with feeling lost. I haven’t known where my life is going, what I want to do, or who I want to do it with. I questioned EVERYTHING.
 
I forgot who I was as a person. I felt like I had no purpose and thought I was a burden to everyone I was around. I was convinced I was going crazy.
 
As someone who is pretty self-aware, this was weird. To be able to acknowledge that you feel like you’re losing your shit, and at the same time feel like you have no control over it is really strange.
 
I would cry most days for no reason. I would literally be sitting on my own crying  and could not for the life of me work out what was wrong. Nothing bad had happened!
 
The thing I’ve come to realise more and more as I get older is that sometimes you just have to surrender to feeling sad. I’m not good at this. I didn’t do it initially, I theorised it. I thought there must be a reason. Was it where I was, who I was with, or because I was on my own so much? I explored each of these things in depth. I spoke to those closest to me and still came up with nothing.
 
The move was definitely the catalyst for these feelings, but not necessarily the cause. I believe these questions would have been raised wherever I was. It’s just that without my safety blanket, they were ready to pounce. I was exposed with nothing to protect me.
 
It was a shit of a time.
 
And now?
 
I’m feeling pretty fantastic. Some of this is due to feelings passing in their own time. And the rest is because I know myself even better than I did before. I know that I need a purpose. I know that I need to get out and see people. And I know that I need to be nicer to myself and take a little bit of my own advice.
 
I feel much stronger. I’m confident that I can go anywhere and find my place. I’m confident that if I feel like I’m going a bit cray, I know it’s only in my head. It isn’t dependent on external circumstances. It’s liberating to have proof that external things matter much less than what is going on inside of you.
 
I feel driven again. I’ve got some cool Cleverhand projects in the works. (Look out for me at the Bondi Markets in the coming months!) And I’m getting out and about so much more. Life is really good.
 
The reason I’m sharing this with you is because I am all about inclusivity and being real. I feel weird if I pretend that everything is perfect. And it is pretty perfect. But, I just want to show that you can have everything going great for you and still lose your marbles from time to time. It also gives me a sense of relief when I read about others who are going through similar things to me, no matter who it is. I don’t feel as bad about it and it helps me pass through it a bit quicker. I hope this can do the same for you.

HOW TO FEEL LESS LOST

  1. Set a goal. It doesn’t have to be big. I’m literally loving myself sick whenever I shower and put on ‘real’ clothes. I.e. NOT ACTIVEWEAR.
  2. Get out and about. Create new paths. Create new routines.
  3. Be nice to yourself. This should probably be number one on the list. Don’t judge yourself for feeling lost. Or being unmotivated. Or being a sad-sack. Just try and do better and remember you don’t have to be anything. You are good EXACLTY as you are.
  4. Just feel lost. Then you know where you are. You’re lost.

Thanks for reading.
Em x

Have you ever felt like this too? What triggered you to feel lost? Email me or comment below.
If you know anyone who might gain something from reading this, please share!