Who are the Lost Souls?
I remember riding around at night with my parents in our little blue Volkswagen Rabbit. I was just a little girl and I loved looking into the windows of people's houses as we drove by.
Winter was an especially good time for this because the leaves were off the trees and families gathered indoors much earlier than usual. I would glimpse people eating dinner or washing their dishes or relaxing in front of their TVssometimes I could even see what they were watching but only for a second and then it was on to the next house. A whole neighborhood at 30 miles an hour looked something like: dinner television dinner dark dishes dinner dark dark dark.
I was a voyeur at age five. I could tell you it was the contrast of the warm, bright houses against the nighttime that attracted me, but that's not the whole truth. Those night drives reinforced my feeling of not belonging anywherea feeling I didn't really mind. At 27, I'm still a detached but keenly interested observer. I still don't feel that I belong anywhere and I still don't mind the not belongingat least not much. I'm a Lost Soul.
If you've managed to find my obscure little book and it speaks to you, odds are good that you, too, are a Lost Soul. You already know that being a Lost Soul is something of a mixed blessing.
Lost Souls are highly creative and all too often prone to fits of lethargy and despair. (For my part, I've battled severe clinical depression since 1990. With medication and therapy, I've been able to manage a relatively stable existence.)
Sometimes we feel disconnected, but the good news is that we are actually in very good company.
Lost Souls are struggling artists, musicians, actors, writersin short, those people taking the road less traveled. It may have made all the difference to Robert Frost, but that particular path can make its wanderers feel very alone. We may feel like black sheep, failures, or unwelcome guests, but we don't have to.
I've learned a good deal about the pitfalls of the "starving artist" lifestyle and I hope that you'll get some good from my mistakes. In 1997, believing that geography was my only obstacle, I moved 2,000 miles away from my friends and family in order to better pursue my art career (and to be with my boyfriend at the time...)
I lasted only a couple of months in Santa Cruz, California, and I'd spent all of my savings there just to survive. I became suicidal. I left many of my belongings behind and took an emergency flight home.
Back home in Indiana, I felt like a failure. I began to wonder if any other people felt as hopeless as I did. I had so many big ideas but I couldn't even get out of bed. I wanted to know other Lost Souls. I thought if only we could compare notes I might not feel so hopeless and uninspired. And then I knew what I had to do...
On to I am Here... Where are You?
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