Restless Souls Unite

You know when you just feel…antsy? Like, this leg twitching, got-to-move feeling, but in your soul?

I’m a small-town kid. My hometown has 500ish people, both towns I attended college in were on the smaller side, and my current town is 1200. I don’t like to drive in cities, or anywhere bigger than South Dakota’s capital. I don’t like people in my space.

And yet.

I always wanted to live in a city. Like, New York City. Like Seattle–which I have visited, and did love.

I get this restless feeling and want to go. Sometimes, especially lately, I feel trapped by my small town life. Never mind that this is many people’s ideal life.

When I was a teenager, I oscillated between “I’m moving to New York, as far from South Dakota as I can be!” and “I’m going to marry a local boy, settle down, and raise some babies.”

I’m still oscillating, I guess.

I’m not in my hometown, but I did settle down to raise some babies. Some days, I feel so empty. Like I gave up before I ever gave myself a chance.

My whole life, it’s been “What comes next.” Next year, I’ll have a boyfriend. Then college. Starting my teaching career. Get married. Have kids.

I have no more major milestones to look forward to. I have a diploma, a degree, a Masters. I married a man I don’t want to imagine my life without, had two babies, and decided that was enough for us. I have a career in a school where I usually feel heard and respected.

And that makes me feel…itchy, empty, sad. I hit all my major milestones before thirty.

My counselor and my mom both keep reminding me to create things to look forward to. My counselor suggests trips, because clearly I need to get out of here sometimes at least. And my mom suggests goals.

They’re both right. But I really wonder how many people feel this…ache, in their chest. An ache for places outside of your realm of normal. An ache for change and new and sometimes for things. For a life different than the one you live. That you chose to live.

How many people feel this bone deep want to live a life different from the one their living. Even if it’s only for a moment.

The line from Hamilton comes to mind, “Will I ever be satisfied?”

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