Having been an adult for a number of years, there are certain things that I am confident that I have learnt. Things like that life is a long journey made up of destination checkpoints as determined by oneself. Things like that even though you’re aware of something being an issue like anxiety, it never truly goes away, no matter how much you work on it, it’s an ongoing relationship where some days feel better than others.
But what I do not know, is how things like this restless feeling keeps coming back. I do not know where it stems from, and I do not know how to live alongside it. It’s been sitting inside me like the ever-present rot during a wet and rainy winter, and it concerns me that there’s this feeling it may cause my house to fall apart.
Last night we went down to the river for a wild swim with my boyfriend and his old school friend. His old school friend lived locally and had invited a long a bunch of other parents that he knew through his children’s school. They were all lovely people and you can see knowing each other in their community gave them support, comfort and joy. To me, there was something that made me want to run away from it. There was something distinctly monotonal to me about their identities being British parents. Part of me is horrified at the thought of it if I were to ever have a child, knowing full well that if I had a child, this would probably be the type of community I would seek out. So what is it that makes me feel such an aversion? What am I seeking instead? Because every time I ask that question, all my brain does is come up with nothing. I long for the times in my 20s where I go out adventuring, meeting new people, being free to explore however, I am no longer that person. I have trouble reconciling how it is I “should be” vs what I have known vs what it is I want but do not know. Getting older is not easy. They say that the 20s are the time for you to figure out who you are and that 30s are when you have come to know yourself. Sure I know myself better in some ways but I certainly do not feel like I have it figured out. I feel since I’ve hit my 30s, I’ve had to try and figure it all out again with new doubts like “Am I too old to be wearing this crop top?”. It feels like if I’ve set myself off on one direction, I come to change my mind at a later stage.
Sometimes I’m envious of people like that group of parents. They know what it’s like and are making the most of their lives as parents and seem to be owning it. Perhaps they struggle with exactly how I feel, but then they’re probably distracted by their children screaming about something inane, or creating some sort of mess or chaos.
Is this restless feeling a sense of not belonging, or wanting to run away?