My legs drive me crazy sometimes. After sitting for an extended period of time, the sensation kicks in. I experience an uncontrollable urge to move my legs. I get the creeping sensation that something is moving inside my skin. Not literally moving, not like a horror movie-type moving. It’s more like I can almost feel the cells and nerve endings and blood and veins dancing their mystical, perfect rhythmic dance. But it creeps my legs out. And they react. And then so do I. It’s technical term is RLS or Restless Leg Syndrome. I’ve had it for years and will probably die moving my legs in a frustrated manner.
The good news is that there is medication. I take mine religiously. I carry extra in my purse just in case I’m not home when my internal “about to be creeped out” alarm clock goes off. It has, quite literally, changed my life. I can sleep without interruption. (Well, at least from RLS.) I am able to relax when I get in bed and not dread what is to come. And the sensation is staved off–at least for another 24 hours until my next dose of medication is required.
Lately, my restlessness has begun spreading. It’s no longer contained to just my legs. It is now infecting my soul.
I’ve always had the travel bug, the wandering spirit that longs for something but is never quite certain exactly what it is that is calling my name. In the past when I’ve been hit with a restless urge, I would find a new job, move to a new apartment, change a relationship, or take up a new craft. I no longer have the freedom to do those things.
This time, I didn’t recognize it for what it was. It has been so long since my soul wasn’t starving to run away, I had almost forgotten what it was like to just be restless. After several weeks of dreading Monday mornings, it finally occurred to me.
I Googled “quotes about restlessness,” and came across a plethora of options. For example:
“Pay attention to your restlessness. Sometimes it’s God’s way of redirecting you.” — thevinepress.org
“All my life my heart has sought a thing I cannot name.” — Hunter S. Thompson
“Discontent is the first necessity of progress…” — Thomas Edison
“I’m restless. Things are calling me away. My hair is being pulled by the stars again.” — Anais Nin
The list seemed endless. Some quotes were in favor of restlessness, while others hinted that it was a result of the devil’s influence. (Being a restless soul, I’ve pitched my tent in the former camp.)
My favorite quote, however, was the Anais Nin quote. The image of my hair being pulled by the stars is unequivocally intriguing and vastly exciting. The stars are everywhere and see everything! They could literally set me down anywhere! The best part of that quote? “Again.” It has happened many times before, and it doesn’t imply that there will be an end to the process. I get that. I relate to it. That restless spot in my soul stirs in recognition at the idea and lifts its head in greeting.
Suddenly, I realize something: I’m not crazy. And I’m not alone.
Now that I’ve solved the “What,” as in “what the hell is wrong with me?” The next question is equally difficult. “How?” as in “how the hell am I going to fix it?”
I really want to run, but that’s not what this restlessness is about. No. This restlessness is different than others. This one seems to have a purpose. An answer to the “Why?”
I think I know why. It’s just going to take work. A lot of it. My hair is getting longer, and the stars might be pulling me in an entirely new direction. Which means I need to buy a new medication for my restless soul syndrome: motivation.
There’s a point to this restlessness. It becomes more clear to me by the day. Will I be ready when the stars close their grip on my hair to lift me up? I hope so.
I washed my hair just in case.