Are you searching to belong, or to be lost?

Have some of you noticed lately that there has been a popular icon, which is a female youth named Emily. She has straight and long hair. And, she always looks cool, wearing not much facial expression. She's been showing up on T-shirts, notebooks, key chains, and what have you. That's why I start noticing her, hence getting to know her. Talk about 'knowing her,' it's not quite 'knowing' because I have little knowledge of her background. Unlike Snoopy or lots of cartoon figures, she simply exists without even identity. Even so, she still has strong presence, at least for me. I don't know why; maybe it's her singularity that makes me have such a different and deep impression.

Today, I went to an Eslite Bookstore (a chain bookstore in Taiwan) where I passed my time by thumbing through some books at will. I abruptly spotted there were products of Emily at a corner. There happened to be a book that portrayed Emily with pictures in a row and very few words. I finally had some idea about what she's like. There were not many words. The language was, however, striking and thought-provoking. Here, it’s exemplified by a sentence in the book. It reads, "Emily doesn't search to belong; she searches to be lost." Perhaps, some of you tend to think that I've been fooled by a nihilistic sentence. And, some might think of it as merely a commercial feat. Which is to draw attention of consumers by means of distinguishing itself from most of the other products. I can't deny its high possibility. Nonetheless, it makes me brood on something. It is an affirmative sentence, only to pose questions.

Isn't it quite easy to be lost? If so, why does 'TO BE LOST' need searching? For one, I'm often lost in a city, in my life, in my relationship with others. Is the sentence getting at something else? If so, it makes me reminisce about a book, A GESTURE LIFE, which was discussed in Mr. Tien's class, MULTICULTURALISM AND THE NOVEL. In a review of the book, the reviewer comments, "A GESTURE LIFE is about what you lose when you lock up all you have." The sentence about Emily probably reasons in the similar way the reviewer concludes about the book. If one concentrates on finding a sense of belongingness, s/he may be oblivious of what s/he is. Otherwise, s/he may have a clearer view, or rather, a vista of life since s/he stands farther away from the center. (a center of life; a center of a circle; a center of what you think it is) If the above suppositions are not vindicated, I begin to wonder what Emily's world is like. It must be a world of courage because it really takes courage to be lost. Also, it takes courage to be alone; it takes courage to be different; it takes courage to be excluded.

After a short while of self-dialectic, the answer is not important at all. Maybe it has never existed. Isn't Life like this, plenty of 'whys' and 'ifs'? Everyone has the right to pursue his or her own answers. It's most likely that we all spend 99 percent of lifetime searching for the answer. So, enjoy the process of searching, whether the answer is found or not, in the long run.
The pericarp of rambutan contains tannin and saponin and is dried and used medicinally in Java.

An interesting handle, and a very interesting essay. May I get back to you next week? I do hope you’re still using the forum.
Rambutan, I can't recall reading your post before but it makes so much sense to me. What inspired it? I know exactly what you mean by searching to get lost.
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Emily may be odd, but she always gets even!

“Meet Emily, the peculiar soul with long black hair, a wit of fire, and a posse of slightly sinister black cats. Famous for her barbed commentary and independent spirit, this rebel-child in black has spawned an Internet and merchandising phenomenon (Emily's Web site gets 35,000 hits per month!). Emily the Strange, her first book, captures the quintessential Emily, featuring her most beloved quips and a host of new ones. Anarchist, heroine, survivor, this little girl with a big personality appeals to the odd child in us all”. (Amazon editorial review)

Emily was a catalyst for your reflection on living outside the square, locating yourself away from the centre of the circle. “If one concentrates on finding a sense of belongingness, s/he may be oblivious of what s/he is. Otherwise, s/he may have a clearer view, or rather, a vista of life since s/he stands farther away from the centre. (A centre of life; a centre of a circle; a centre of what you think it is)”.

I love this little essay. After reading it, I began searching for some of my own answers too..
She's strange but I like her