The Difference Between Restlessness and Refusing to Rest

Listen, I’ve been through it all. I know I’m only 23 (which, almost one month in, is surprisingly not as bad as Blink-182 made it out to be. I’m tellin’ ya, 23 is my year!), but I’ve had my fair share of life-molding experiences. I’ve been heart broken and I’ve broken hearts; I’ve been thin and I’ve been overweight; I’ve experienced way too much loss and I’ve experienced way too many blessings.

One thing that’s remained the same with me is my refusal to rest.

When I was “in love,” as the kids call it (mostly because I was a kid), I wanted to reach the moon and back with my guy – peaking at an all-time relationship high was just not a concept to me; to me, a fire could always burn brighter, and that’s probably why I crashed and burned so hard at the end of it all. But I grew innumerably.

When someone else was in love with me but I couldn’t bring myself to say it back, I felt the need to keep moving, so I felt the need to keep him moving too. It hurt so much to be on the other end of the heart-breaking, but I wanted the best for him and didn’t want either of us to have to settle for something that wasn’t 100% right.

When I was “thin,” as I call the smallest time of my physicality, I was an avid soccer player, volleyball player, tennis player, basketball player, track runner – you name it – because I am a born competitor and can’t stand to keep my feet physically still (I still debate whether or not I have RLS).

When I was overweight, I was so upset at myself that I couldn’t keep my thoughts still, and I eventually turned these thoughts into a new outlook on nutrition because I could not give in to defeat and stay the way I was – which was, ultimately, unhappy.

When I experienced loss, it came like a flood; first one family member, then another, and then three more followed within just eleven months of the previous – and I couldn’t imagine ever having a normal day where I wouldn’t break down crying about life’s unfairness. But one day I woke up and realized that crying every day would not get me anywhere and life didn’t stop just because it felt like it had, and I had to be stronger for everyone else in my family so that they could progress too.

And put simply, my entire life is one giant blessing from the Big Man Himself. Through the heartbreak, the insecurities and the loss, I was still so blessed. How can someone complain when they’ve been given the ability to love and be loved, to change and be changed and to appreciate a wonderful family? There are no lows in life, because they always turn into highs when you refuse to rest when you are low.

If something is bad, make it good.

If your brain isn’t good, use your body. If your body isn’t good, use your words. If your words aren’t good, use your soul. If your soul isn’t good, I don’t believe you.

Refuse to rest when life gets bad, but most of all, refuse to rest when life is good – that’s the most dangerous trench to be stuck in – the trench of content complacency. Life didn’t get good because you sat and watched it happen. You got up one day and made a decision; whether it was to pursue a college degree or simply to be nicer to strangers, you chose to make a positive change, and that decision undoubtedly changed your life for the positive, perhaps in ways you’re too blind to see right now.

My mom tells me I have a restless soul. I think it’s because I’m a spontaneous little firecracker and jump at the next thing I want to do without taking serious heed to consequences. Don’t get me wrong, I’m wary of danger and foolishness, but I’m also a “why not?” kind of kid. Because I believe that if something is in your heart, the worst thing to do to yourself is to deny yourself of your heart’s thirst. Sometimes my mind jumps the gun a little, and that’s why my mom has a mini heart attack when I call her and begin with, “So I was thinking, and…” And then she offers some reasoning and I come back down to reality and decide sometimes that right now isn’t always the right time and not every thing is the right thing. And it’s really important to be mindful of that.

With that said, I’m not restless. I am thoughtful, careful and way too introspective to do anything without thoroughly drafting a mental pro/con list (note mental, because I’m the absolute worst at writing things down… I know… Writer Fail #4328763). However, my refusal to rest has (for the lack of a better phrase, and also lack of cares) lit a fire under my ass to not waste time when it comes to the things that will fulfill my heart. Something I want to do? I’m going to do it. Something I’m not happy about? I’m going to fix it. I just need to think of the right way to do it. And that’s the difference between being mindlessly restless and mindfully refusing to rest.

Do not let yourself confuse restlessness with the refusal to rest. You can refuse to rest without jumping the gun too quickly. And if you’re prone to being an “Okay, let’s do it!” person like myself, make sure you have someone you trust to screen your ambitions before you go gung-ho and sell all your belongings and move to Russia (hey, some of us really like vodka).

The one quality of mine that I’m proud of and will preach to all my friends who unwisely ask me for advice is the fact that you should never settle. Always reach for something more. The fact is, nothing is exactly the same every day. Thus, you aren’t the same either, no matter how much it feels like it. So dammit, stop sitting on your couch and pretending like your routine is who you are. Change things for yourself before the universe has to step in and do it for you – you’re apt to enjoy your own decisions much more than fate’s haphazard tendencies.

Refuse to rest but don’t be so restless that you are blind to your goals.

Keep that fire lit under your ass and burn bright, baby.

(That wasn’t, like, too far, was it?)

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  • Show Comments (2)

  • Vincent

    I love this, Lyss. Weirdly enough, I feel like I really needed to read this and for some reason the signals of the universe led me to it. I can’t even express how phenomenal of a writer you truly are. In a way I look up to you.

    Love,
    Vincey

  • Anne Newcomer

    Fly baby Fly!

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