Someone recently told me they had been feeling "anchorless". All in the matter of weeks, he broke up with his girlfriend of many years, left his job and started hanging with a whole new social group. Anchorless was the perfect word to describe the way he was feeling - as though he were floating, with no real connection to his former life (and who he is) to keep him from drifting off to sea. In fact, you could say he was having a hard time keeping his head above water; the overwhelming waves of change were rocking him back and forth and he had no idea where he was headed. Most of us have been in that tumultuous place a few times before - usually after major life changes, when everything we could count on before, everything that had given us a solid sense of identity, was suddenly turned upside down. How can we weather these storms and keep afloat - or, better yet, how can we prevent this wave from hitting us in the first place?
Everyone has a sense of what defines them as a person; it might be their job, relationships, hobbies, home, or a million other things. (Think about what makes you who you are. It could even be a love for cats, or their fashion sense.) When we rely too heavily on certain parts of our lives to form our identity (like a romantic relationship, our looks or our job), we run the risk of crashing hard if we lose that thing. If, however, we work on being as well rounded as possible and pay attention to building many "anchors", we will have something to grasp onto when another piece of our identity gets swept away. Put in the time to build quality relationships, take up meaningful hobbies, explore the different sides of your personality. And when you find yourself drifting away, reach out for those anchors. They'll remind you who you are and help you keep your eyes on the horizon.
by T.L. Scribe