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From being lost to becoming a founder

Why you should allow yourself to be in love with the flow of life.

We master life once we fall in love with the magic of its unpredictability.

For years and years, there has been so much shame around the feeling of being off-track, that people — young adults especially and even teenagers who have barely graduated highschool — have felt obligated to remain silent about their most intrinsic fears and doubts. Questions like “Who am I?” “Who am I supposed to be?” or “What am I good at? ” have never found its place in society’s standardized conversation.

No one tells you that it is totally normal to feel lost. Instead, they insist on the usual “highschool-university-master-work” path and pretend to know the way. The truth is: it’s okay to not have everything figured out at 23, or 18, or 35. The majority of your friends might be feeling exactly the same way, but the pressure of fitting in, of following the right path, makes nobody talk about it.

But what if everybody isn’t the same? What if out of 10 people who graduate college, 7 still have no clue what they are expected to do with work or life?

Unfortunately, the embarrassment of being lost has always been enormous; and there was a time, where I felt it, too.

But suddenly, everything changed. The disruption of this pandemic has taken everyone by surprise, and one thing appears to be clear: people are feeling lost more than ever, and it isn’t anyone’s fault. For the first time in ages, it’s ok to feel this way. The shared sensation of uncertainty caused by this pandemic is making people realize that the reaction of fear towards something unknown is natural, and suddenly you would hear sentences like:

"Everyone has a different way to deal with all of this. You are not supposed to feel a certain way. Take your time."

Well, amén.

But, you know what? The feeling of being lost should have been accepted from the very beginning because it isn’t anyone’s fault when it happens. Becoming an adult is freaking hard, and navigating the “real” world while simultaneously trying to maneuver your own self and the hundreds of existential questions that appear in your head, is even harder. Self-discovery, personal growth, finding your passion… They all sound like fascinating words, but they aren’t as magical when you’re in the midst of figuring them out.

What I ultimately want to say is this: did we really need a pandemic to understand that not everybody is made out of the same material?

That, yes, how we deal with things and approach situations is going to be different? That what might be good for you might not be good for me? That what society has set as the right path probably does not fit everyone’s dreams and desires?

That people are different and that feeling lost about becoming an adult is normal — and not something you should feel guilty or ashamed about.

With the world changing before our eyes, we’re having to adapt, with many of us discovering there is an opportunity in chaos and novelty. All of a sudden, we have understood that working from an office is not the only true way, and that doing a 180-degree career change can happen — and that it is fine. We are finding solutions that are out of the norm. Confronting situations and challenges we never thought possible. We are beginning to learn that there shouldn’t be a masterplan for everybody, because, honestly, there has never been such a thing.

Let’s copy-paste these learnings into the mentality of post-grad or post-school life, and flip the view we have on Millennials and GenZ’s that pursue something different. The world is full of trial and error, of unrealistic but possible ideas, of out-of-the-box people with out-of-the-box dreams; and sometimes it is more than needed to get a little bit lost in it all.

Having doubts about the piece that you are meant to fill in this life-puzzle is natural, and it should never be belittled or compared with failure! For me, at least, the moment I accepted and truly grasped the wisdom behind this, things started to change. I endorsed and encouraged my lostself, I even fell in love with it and all the exciting opportunities that this new perspective came with. I became free of pressure and standards. And so, I started living my dream life. I worked for 2 years as a digital nomad, remotely, for a travel startup I was passionate about. I saw the world, made true friends, broke some hearts, learned a lot, and became genuinely happy and fulfilled!

And then? Corona came. And then? I lost my job. And then?

I discovered that I had somehow become ok with the uncertainty of how things can change, or how I might have to adapt to them. It’s a simple mentality switch, but it makes such a difference! You start seeing “fear of being the only one lost” as “countless possibilities of new beginnings”. And then?

I founded a company! In the middle of a pandemic. Completely remotely. With 1 friend I had briefly just met, and 2 others that I had never even seen before. We became a team scattered around 3 different continents! How stupid and random… well, that’s life! Everything is lost and found, in a way. I mean…for the love of God, who would have told me one year ago, or even six months ago, that I would become a founder?!

We started Cookie Jar. A sick company developing the best app in the world (believe me, I am not biased!). In essence, Cookie Jar is a memory jar of your life that functions like a collaborative digital journal, where you can create, share, and relive moments that matter with people that matter. Privately; without algorithms, followers or likes. It’s what we call mindful media.

And the best of it all? The Cookie Jar app is made exactly for people like me, and maybe also like you! People who live for wholesome moments, who cherish the realness of memories, who love to share smiles and quality conversations with real friends, who appreciate life for more than the likes you get on social media. People who see the value in gratitude and reflection, in smiling to the world, in being present, in feeling connected.

What can you take away from this personal story?

Being lost makes you learn. A lot! About yourself, about life, about the endless amount of professions, and possibilities, and sides of this word. Without encouraging being lost, I would have never ended up at the intersection of my life that brought me to Hans, Jon, and Igor — my co-founders at Cookie Jar.

And so: anything is possible if you let yourself flow into the state of being lost. No pressure, no guilt, no self-reproaching thoughts, no over-thinking… Stop planning too far ahead and allow yourself to be fully lost in order to find yourself in trails you would have never thought possible!

Who knows, maybe you will be the next lost person that puts together a mindful media app to make this world a better place for all of us, too! Cookie Jar backs you.

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