I am restless.
I am restless quite often, thinking about what I could have been, could have done. I could have made something of my life, made a difference, been somebody. But it is my own fault, always has been. I made my own choices, where to go to school, what to study, what jobs to take, who to marry, when to get married, when to have kids. No one has ever swayed my “life” decisions. So I have no one to blame but myself.
This particular bout of restlessness was brought on by a movie I watched, that I knew full well going into would make me restless: Eat Pray Love. But I watched it anyway, to feel connected to someone else that is restless. But the problem is she gets un-restless, the movie ends, and I am left alone again, to wallow in my state and to ponder the movie all the rest of the next day.
For those of you living under a rock, or that are of the male persuasion, Eat Pray Love is about a woman who is unhappy with her life, and takes a year “off” (must be nice to be able to do that) to travel the world and find herself and to feel again. At the beginning of the movie, her friend tells her she is crazy for taking a year to travel. This friend then sees her off at the airport and tells her she has been against the trip because she is jealous. She tearfully says something to the effect of “I love my job, my man, my baby; but I wish I could go.”
This is how I feel. I wouldn’t change who I married, or even when I married. I love my husband, my baby, and generally my life. But I “wish I could go.” Actually, I feel more like her husband in the movie. He is constantly changing jobs, wanting to go back to school, seeking what it is that he really wants to do with his life. And he gets left by his wife, so I guess that’s not really a good place to be.
I wish I could be/do/see/think/read/write/love/feel/give/seek/pray/ MORE. Some of these things are within my control. But most are not. Why? 1) Money and 2) Commitments. I want to travel the world… that’s certainly not free. A one way plane ticket to Europe could cost me more than I make in a month. Travel, hotels, food, tourism. It’s all money-money-money. Not to mention I have that little thing called “a family”. I could read and write more, learn and study more, IF I didn’t cook, clean, work, eat, sleep, have a family… I am lucky if I can steal an hour to myself each day.
I want to speak French fluently. I want to finish editing (and publish, ha) my book. I want to sew. I want to go to culinary school. I want to READ. I want to KNOW. I want to BE. I want, want, want. Why can’t I just be happy being average? Average job, average pay, somewhat average house. What is this drive in me that compels my mind to overreach my life’s capabilities?
I feel worse when I remember putting five years into a degree I am not using. I feel worse every month when I pay my student loans. I feel worse when I think about my test scores as a kid. My mom told me awhile back how well I did on all those aptitude tests. Not to brag, but I did really well. My parents probably thought I would grow up to be a doctor or scientist or cure Cancer or something. Maybe I could have worked for the CIA or brought world peace. I know they aren’t disappointed in me, but sometimes I am.
I feel better when I think about being good at my job, which inadvertently helps people. I am good at it, and my boss appreciates me. I feel better when I realize that I am better off than a lot of people. I have food, a place to call home, income. I feel better when I think about my family; my husband who loves me, my happy son who I am the whole world to, my slew of pets who would probably miss me if I was gone.
I know that today, even though I am feeling restless and inadequate, tomorrow, when my husband and I wake up to a lazy Saturday morning with friends, and Monday, when my son comes tearing across the house to run into my arms when I get home, I will feel more than content. I will feel un-restless.
In Eat Pray Love, the main character is searching for “her word”, a word the describes who she really is. Her word in the movie, which she didn’t understand until the end of the film (of course) Attraversiamo. In Italian it means, “let’s cross over”. People say it to each other when they mean to cross the street to the other side. I don’t know what my word is yet. but maybe I will figure it out one of these un-restless days.