Culture · Expatria · Prague · Spirituality · Television · Third Culture Kids · Trauma · Travel

Lost and Found

As always, somewhat obsessed, I have a new fascination with the TV series Lost. I know, I know. It’s sorta cliche by now, having a thing for Lost. But my thing is this: I read an article about how Lost is really some version of Stephen King’s Dark Tower series. You know, the Gunslinger chasing after the Man in Black and all kinds of weird folk in worlds that both overlap and are far from the world we live in. After I read that article, I was fascinated and bit by bit I’ve been uncovering the episodes, feeling inspired.

Since watching it, I’ve seen a polar bear attack on a tropical island, a paraplegic walk with his own two legs, physical phantoms, cursed numbers and so much more. Something is going on with that wormhole island, but I don’t know what exactly yet. I’m hooked.

At the same time, my friend Kiri has been visiting me in Prague. Well, not me exactly, her husband’s family is doing a road trip with long lost relatives and I just got lucky that Kiri is along for the ride. I haven’t seen her in two years. In that time, we’ve both been married twice (thankfully, to the same men), moved several times and boatloads of events have transpired in our lives since we last saw each other. Yet seeing her is like no time has passed whatsoever. I feel as comfortable around her husband as I do around her, and it’s like things have always been like this. I missed her so much, and miss all my friends so much that I haven’t seen. It is a pleasure to reconnect, it truly is.

Kiri and Phill being here coincides in an odd way with my new fascination for Lost. Like in that Joni Mitchell song about how something’s lost and something’s found at the same time. I feel I have been in some Phantom Zone for years and all it has taken is the short visit of a good friend to remind me of who I was, who I have always been, and who I am now. Being lost in something doesn’t mean losing oneself, and remembering who we were when a friend knew us well is half the journey to not being lost. To realise that where I am has very little to do with what is inside me. That something huge has been missing from my life and thank Goddess that finally an old friend found her way back to me. Someone who could show me where I’m at and remind me of where I want to be, even if she didn’t do it consciously.

It has been so long that I have been emotionally self-sufficient that I forgot what it feels like to be around someone who knows me from my soul and outwards. Someone who understands so much of who I am, so much more than what even I am capable of understanding. I didn’t realise how much I felt like all those characters, lost on an island. Isolated, waiting for rescue, trying to get through each day as best as they can, to survive by whatever means were necessary. It has been years since I felt comfortable in my own skin and it has been way too long since I have reconnected with friends who are more than just friends, they are pieces of my soul and my history. It’s all coming back to me now, and while it is beautiful, it is also painful to realise I am not quite where I should be on a lot of levels.

To be lost and found simultaneously. This is an odd sensation, maybe incomprehensible if you haven’t felt it before. The sensation of being understood, of being gotten, of knowing I am not the only one while at the same time being a floater, a drifter, bungling my way from point A to point B, where no one knows my name and no one has any concept that I am more than just someone who’s passing through.

Something’s lost and something’s found. This sums my life at the moment. The ethereal understanding of dream life, the concrete knowing that this is how things are, the acceptance that life is the decisions I have made and a tinge of sadness that things have not worked out the way I would have hoped. The return to myself as inspired by this crazy city, wrenching and confusing.

I wonder if it’s worse to be lost or to know where you are but not know the way out. I wonder if maybe my last few “lost island” years were part of the Creator’s greater plan for my life’s tapestry. I think of all I learned in that time of disconnection to people I love, all the art I created, the tears I cried, the joy I felt and the aching for connection.

The main sign that things have changed, the rescue boat is in sight, has been the fact that in the last few years nobody has been able to come visit for whatever reasons. Since moving to Prague I have seen my hermana Kirsten and met her husband. My mother will be coming in September along with my girl Charlotte. Rebecca, one of my bestest friends in the whole wide world will be here in October, along with a whole host of other people for our Halloween party. I am sitting in a crossroads, and everyone can see me waving as they come by. Sometimes the best thing in the world is a change of scenery, and of all the moves in the last years this feels like the healthiest one.

Maybe it’s true what they say: if you want to find yourself, you’ve got to get good and lost first.