Disclaimer: I started this post an hour ago until I found the picture above and fell into a deep, dark rabbit hole of sleep deprivation and cyclical insomnia.
I mentioned the phrase “cyclical insomnia” today, only 58% sure it was a real thing. Spoiler: it is real. My particular brand is usually triggered by anxiety, which I suppose can be applied to my current EOTD–that is, the feeling of restlessness that struck around 11 PM and lasted until…I’ll let you know.
Instead of discussing all the fun! side effects of insomnia and restlessness, I want to ruminate on the idea of fight-or-flight and what it means in an age of #wanderlust.
Earlier this year, I discovered a lot of truths about myself and my personality when it came to commitment–commitment in relationships, work, so on. It’s not as simple as being phobic, but that’s a simple way to explain that makes people look at you slightly less weird versus admitting the idea of staying in one place (emotionally or physically) makes me feel like a train car is sitting on my chest.
I decided to stay put for now while I planned the next 5, 10, 15 years of my life in approximately 5, 10, 15 different places. I want to find a job or jobs I love (writing) without having to be tied down to a physical office or apartment. I want to spend time in a lot of different cities–New Orleans, San Diego, Portland, Ann Arbor, London–without having to find a new job or burn a lot of bridges along the way.
Why don’t you just take a lot of vacations?
–99% of people I’ve shared my plan with
Listen, I love vacations as much as the next person, but it’s not the same. For me, a vacation has always been plagued with worry, feeling guilty for checking email and feeling guilty for ignoring it. The pressure to pack everything into 4 days, getting anxious about travel, money, weather. I don’t want to travel. I want to live.
In all, I have been excited since this self-discovery was made and plan developed. I have been filled to the brim with self-purpose. I have felt the fleeting desire to start right now, even though I just moved to a new city in August. But today, I’m feeling as restless as a person on bedrest for the last ten months.
This plan did not spring from a latent desire–I have always been a pack and go kind of person. But even I notice a pattern when it starts to develop, and I’m worried that today’s feeling of restlessness is coming from a dangerous place.
Though I moved here for my sanity and a career change, it was on the heels of a heart-wrenching breakup. Like the last time I moved, back home from California, after a heartbreaking betrayal. Fight or flight. Bemoan or bolt.
No breakup to attribute this feeling to, but there is a cloud of mortality hanging over my head and a wind of impermanence whispering in my ears. Hurry, hurry, it says. My hands make fidgeting gestures, itching for keys or train tickets. I am not ready, but I am ready.
I am ready and I am restless.