Lose You to Find Yourself

By Malak Saadi

What’s it like to be able to run away from who you are? At some point or another, we had all wanted new identities. Ours felt like it just didn’t fit anymore and picking up and leaving made complete sense. I had been wanting to be someone different, to go somewhere different, where a few to no people knew who I was. It seemed easier to start again if my identity hadn’t already been judged. I had known the same people all my life. I had known them and their friends for just as long. I went to school and university in Jeddah City and had honestly began to feel suffocated. Everyone knows everyone's business, it always feels like high-school drama.

I finally had the opportunity to leave Jeddah and head to Turkey in order to study for my Masters Degree, and boy was I NOT feeling it. You’d expect me to be so fully charged finally being able to reinvent myself and be whoever I had always wanted to be, but nope. Having my mother and brother attend with me made it feel the same. I was still going to have people that know me, be there, so what was the difference?

I’ve been in Turkey for almost a week. I had watched myself close in at the Universities, International Orientation Day. I had never felt like I lost a sense of myself, up until this point. Being somewhere where everyone knows you instills this false confidence, where you tend to believe you know how to socialize and build confidence, yet being asked to do so in a completely forgein country, really leaves you questioning a few things, such as:

What do people see when they first look at you?If you approach someone, how embarrassing may it look if they reject you?Would anyone understand a single word I say, or does everyone talk Turkish and I’m going to be here looking like an idiot?

To conclude how my orientation day went, I made a couple friends, however it took a bit longer for me to muster the courage to walk up and start the conversation. My point with this article is that often times we run away from ourselves. Do we ever escape who we really are? We always pack our emotions, shoving it so far down inside us that we’re bound to overflow. I do not believe humans are capable of outrunning themselves, though it’s possible to run into ourselves.

Being able to explore a city and get lost in the streets allows you the opportunity to get closer to who you are. It helps you figure out where your weak points are and allows you the chance to excel in those. We are mostly capable of allowing our true selves out once we are placed in a situation we are unfamiliar with.

Here’s my advice for those outrunning themselves: Don’t. There’s no point in running away from someone you are destined to be, yet there’s so much more trying to understand everything that you go through. Becoming more self-aware starts by understanding why you feel a certain way in the given situations and experiences; how it makes your body feel and how your thoughts may begin to rush.

Allow the things that don’t make you feel comfortable to dictate your course of action afterwards. Let it help you stay away from the things that do not comfort you or offer you any room of growth and prosperity.

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