When I was in high school, I always sat by the window during class and it was torture. While the teacher was babbling on about some boring topic, I would stare out the window and wish I could be out in the world, living, rather than stuck in a stuffy old classroom. I used to see women walking on the sidewalk and I would long to jump out the window and join them. Or, I would see an airplane in the sky and jealousy would consume me. Those passengers were obviously going someplace a lot more fabulous. Even the faint sound of cars zooming down the busy street was enough to make my heart ache. Out there was a world filled with people who could do whatever they wanted all day—grab coffee, go for a walk, take a trip, etc.—while I was stuck with a bunch of suburban hooligans in a public high school.
Now, being 26 and out in the actual world, I still feel like I want to be on the other side of that window. But I am on the other side, right? That's why it feels so confusing.
It's this helpless feeling of always wanting to be somewhere else, always grasping for something that is just barely within my reach.
I felt that way during my job as a reporter. Our office was located next to railroad tracks and every time a train would whoosh by, I would fantasize about hopping it, just to see where it would take me. I always imagined it would take me somewhere magical, even though, in reality, it would probably just take me to Oklahoma or something.
I also feel that way when I'm driving down the highway. Sometimes it is so tempting to keep on going towards the sunset, instead of getting off at my exit. I want to drive into the distance because it always seems better than where I am. Everything does.
Today was no different.
Rian took the day off work and we went to the lake for a picnic lunch. It was so beautiful and so serene, I wanted to engulf myself in the natural beauty. I desperately wanted to be part of the scenery, rather than enjoying it. Does that make sense? Probably not...
Rian and I strolled by the lake, holding hands and smiling.
Older folks walking nearby gave us appreciative glances, pleased to see a young couple enjoying the afternoon sunshine.
But inside I was despondent and Rian was battling his own demons.
It wasn't a total illusion, however. I was happy in the moment. I was just simply overwhelmed with this unsettling feeling and a question that has been nagging me for years: When will I ever be satisfied with where I am?