On the night of my junior prom, I
rode in a limo with the hottest, most popular guy at school dragged my dateless ass to the movie theater with a girlfriend.
Luckily for me, that movie was Zoolander, so my night ended up being waaay better than going to prom with some douche, anyhow.
I mean, best movie of the decade, because Derek Zoolander is pretty much as awesome as it gets. Not only is he an amazing eugooglizer, but he ends up marrying Matilda, becoming a loving father to Derek Junior, and founding “The Derek Zoolander Center for Kids Who Can’t Read Good and Wanna Learn to Do Other Stuff Good Too.”
Today, I present to you an article you probably never thought you’d see: What Derek Zoolander, male model, can teach you about finding yourself.
LOSE YOURSELF TO FIND YOURSELF
Believe it or not, Derek Zoolander did not find his way into awesomeness overnight. He didn’t just shoot out of bed one day and morph into Awesome Derek in all his gloriousness.
Before Derek found his way, he had to first undergo an intense and sucky period of questioning.
“Who am I?” he lamented in a mud puddle after losing the “Male Model of the Year” award to stupid Hansel.
He left home to search for his roots, venturing deep into the coal mines and catching the black lung.
He was disowned by his father and brothers for being a merman.
His dear friends died in a freak gasoline fight accident.
He didn’t know how to turn left.
And to top it all off, he was the target of Mugatu’s plan to assassinate the Prime Minister of Micronesia (and you thought YOU had it bad!).
So what’s the point?
If we want to become who we truly are, we, too must go through this period of losing ourselves, of feeling utterly and completely lost and confused, of having all of the questions and none of the answers.
In order to find ourselves, we must first lose ourselves.
The forgetting is a part of the remembering.
The difficulty is a part of the process.
Did you catch that?
The difficulty is a necessary part of the process.
Which is why, if you’re feeling lost and confused right now, I’m actually going to CONGRATULATE you.
You, my friend, are right on track.
Not knowing who you are– asking questions– feeling lost– like it or not, these are the perfect signs that you’re well on your way.
“The great loneliness– like the loneliness a caterpillar endures when she wraps herself in a silky shroud and begins the long transformation from chrysalis to butterfly. It seems we too must go through such a time, when life as we know it is over– when being a caterpillar feels somehow false and yet we don’t know who we are supposed to become. All we know is that something bigger is calling us to change. And though we must make the journey alone, and even if suffering is our only companion, soon enough we will become a butterfly, and soon enough we will taste the rapture of being alive.”
– Elizabeth Lesser
NO ONE SAID IT’D BE EASY
Following the easy path, the default path—living up to someone else’s standards—that’s what’s easy.
Failing to ask the hard questions—failing to take a good, hard look at your reflection in the mud puddle and ask, “Who am I?”—that’s what’s easy.
For me, it was easy to stay in my cubicle and in my normal little life. It was easy to hide behind my mask, to shrink and hide from the world instead of opening. It was easy for me not to write this blog.
This is precisely why most people stay in the “easy zone.”
You & I— WE AREN’T MOST PEOPLE. We are restless. We aren’t satisfied with the default life. Like Derek, we know there’s so much more to life than being really really ridiculously good looking, and we’re hell bent on (re)discovering, and on living, that depth.
No one ever said it would be easy— they only said it would be worth it.
It is a strange gift, this birthright gift of self. Accepting it turns out to be even more demanding than attempting to become someone else.
– Parker Palmer
W O R T H .
I T .
So have faith. Have patience.
Know that feeling lost is a part of the process, and that it often takes time. In fact, I’m convinced that we never fully arrive, and that’s OK.
Patience. Patience. Patience, my dear friend.
Patience is the companion of wisdom.
– St. Augustine
You may feel lost in the questions, but you are much, much, MUCH farther along than you give yourself credit for.
The suckiness, the questions– whether you know it or not, they’re leading you home as we speak.
Soon enough, you’ll discover the Magnum that’s been resting within you all along.
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[Photo by nickb_rock]