Mathew (1997): British, adventure sports instructor, Mountain Gautier
1- What do you understand under feeling lost?
I guess it is similar to feeling physically lost. That sense of panic when something is going wrong and you do not know how to get out of it.
2- Please, describe a specific situation when you felt that way?
I guess it never really hit me really hard but the worst time it happened was about two years ago. By that time, I was back home for the winter and I was working 6 days a week in 3 different jobs which were at a shop, at a climbing wall (my favorite) and at a pub in the evenings.
I did not know what I was doing with my time and I didn’t feel like I was achieving anything of value.
At the shop, it simply got worse and worse in terms of what they wanted us to do. Typical big corporation kind of stuff. Of course, I was very happy about this opportunity but still, I had to stand around for hours and this place did not have any windows just like a cave.
I was dreaming about being outdoors adventuring in the wild and contributing more as well. At my main job, I was just helping people that already had a lot of money to go on nice holidays and, what was worse, they were going to outdoor locations which I always wanted to visit.
Anyway, I panicked and I didn’t feel aligned with what I wanted to do. There were not many people around that I could talk to about this kind of issue. It was definitely a “deal with it by myself” kind of thing.
3- What helped you to overcome or to deal with the situation?
I read a lot but not so much those books that would try to give advice or anything. Taking my mind off of my routine for a while was the only thing I wanted. Fantasy novels were the best solution for doing so.
Having something to look forward to
By that time, I already knew that I would go back to work at an outdoor adventure camp in the United States in the summer. This made the entire experience much easier to handle as I had something to look forward to.
Doing what I like
The following winter I knew I needed some relief so I went on trips every month or so.
4- Which main lesson or result did you get out of this challenging time?
I learned that I need to do the things I love to feel happy, which shouldn’t be surprising!
The following winter I went on adventure trips about every month. Doing something that made me feel like me at my best on a regular basis really helped.
5- What could be done to help somebody who is feeling lost?
Someone who is feeling lost is always someone who is not where he/she should be. Try to take them somewhere new, physically and mentally, and don’t take no for an answer. When lost it is easy to continue in the same way, and you can need a push to make changes.