When I was younger, I used to misplace my shoes. I actually still do quite a bit. I would wander around the house, looking in all the same spots over and over again, getting frustrated and asking my mom if she’d seen them. She always said the same thing:
“Where’d you take them off?”
More recently, but not much, I have been wanting to get away from my everyday surroundings. I see my friends traveling and seeing the world; experiencing things that I could only dream of, suffering from the crushing fear of missing out. I just knew that staying put meant certain death: like a shark that needed the water always rushing through it’s gils, I needed to be moving if I wanted to survive; if I wanted to find what I was looking for.
I was bored and things weren’t changing fast enough for me. In the very face of trying to establish some sort of stability, I was simultaneously sabotaging it. I am terrified of becoming stagnate, and so staying anywhere and doing anything for more than a while felt like some Great Evil that would destroy my life. I ignored the fact that staying put was the only way I would ever get good at what I was doing, or maintain the relationships that I valued.
What I’ve been realizing is that, yes, life is monotonous. It can be boring and lead to despair. It can require every possible ounce of patience, and I think there are times when drastic moves are healthy and necessary. However, what I was doing was not healthy. I was trying to run away and escape, and running away is not the answer. The answer, at least for right now, is staying put. This was a paradoxical cure: not looking any farther than where I am for what will truly fulfill the restlessness in my heart. It was only a paradox to me until I realized that the only thing I was really running away from, was myself. Staying put taught me how to live with who I was, and not who I was going to be. And finding out how to live with myself was what I was looking for.
Finally, all the time I spent looking for my shoes around the house made sense. I was frustrated because, obviously, I was looking in all the wrong places.
“Where did you take them off?”
The answer was not in all the places I was looking, but right where I had started from.