find oneself

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find oneself (third-person singular simple present finds oneself, present participle finding oneself, simple past and past participle found oneself)

  1. (idiomatic) To learn, or attempt to learn, what kind of person one is and what one wants in life.
    When he was in his early twenties, he backpacked around Europe to find himself.
  2. (idiomatic) To unexpectedly or unintentionally begin to do or experience something.
    As you enter the cafe, you find yourself wondering why they decided to paint the entire room blue.
    When news of his wife’s murder spread around the media, he found himself in front of a press conference explaining his actions.
    • 2017 January 19, Peter Bradshaw, “T2 Trainspotting review – choose a sequel that doesn’t disappoint”, in The Guardian[1], London, archived from the original on 20 January 2017:
      [Danny] Boyle revives some of the stylistic tics which found themselves being ripped off by geezer-gangster Britflicks back in the day, but now the freezeframes are briefer, sharper; the movie itself refers back to the original with variant flashback versions of famous scenes, but also Super 8-type images of the boys' poignant boyhood in primary school.
  3. (idiomatic) To be in a particular state of mind.
    How do you find yourself this morning?
  4. (literally) To find (something) for oneself.
    I need to find myself a boat.
  5. (literally) To discover oneself to be in a particular place.
    I got drunk and woke to find myself in the neighbour’s garden the next morning.