Atta Ikede

April 11, 2008

The Inheritance

Filed under: Uncategorized — attaikede @ 6:43 am

I inherited a lot from my dad. My cheeky smile, a taste for hidden luxuries, an interest in travel, being top of my class as a kid and bottom of my class in uni (though i’m proud to say i did better than my dad and improved a bit towards the end at UW) and a facility for music. Unfortunately, I think I also inherited a tendency for restlessness.

I’ve had a strange restless feeling in the back of my head for the last 2 years. The intensity of the feeling has waxed and waned over the months, but it’s definitely been there the whole time. The only way I can describe the feeling is that when it was active in my mind, I felt like I just HAD to do something or I would explode, but I had no clue what to do, so the only thing I could do was just hide in a hole, or curl up on my couch, which is the next best thing. It was so weird! there were times I couldn’t even lie on my back in Yoga class because doing so made me feel completely overwhelmed by restless confusion!!! I couldn’t sleep at night and I remember sleeping on my couch or on the floor of my condo for weeks at a time because I just could NOT sleep in my bed. I’d have a perfectly normal, happy day and not even think about this weird stuff except for these uncomfortable times where I’d suddenly become so aware of my own restlessness I couldn’t think or rest. I couldn’t sit still but I couldn’t move! Looking back on all that now makes me feel really perplexed because I can’t even imagine what that was like, and even though I can remember it, I feel like I couldn’t possibly be remembering something I really experienced. Does that make sense?

I don’t know when it started. What I do know for sure is that when I quit the bank, a guy I respected very much made the following ominous comment: “The grass is always greener on the other side.” Well guess what. That phrase absolutely HAUNTED me during my first few months at PM. It was like a song I couldn’t get out of my head, except instead of being the perky refrain by Rihanna going “under my umbrella, ella, ella, ella” it was Kevin’s head repeating that phrase in his British accent. It’s possible it haunted me the entire time I was there. There were many many amazing things about my job at PM. Objectively I’m really glad I worked there! I learned a lot and made some good friends. I’m not even sure what was so bad there. Maybe it was just the perplexing nature of the place. So overtly friendly, and yet so not. It was a totally bizarre environment and going to work for 8, 10 hours a day every day was like I was entering another dimension. Maybe there were also some situational undercurrents which were specifically unfriendly to this particular creature and running into those now and then just reset the grass is greener song in my head. I dunno.

A few other things happened too. One of my best friends, a person who I consider a rock of practicality, experienced some similar-ish feelings. I’ve always been a bit weird and prone to dramatic flourishes. When this girl also started having these thoughts, it really freaked me out!

I think the last thing that happened is that I stopped being excited about things that excited me. This was probably the biggest thing. I went to the grocery store and didn’t feel a thrill when I found a new spread. I didn’t feel any remorse when I used up a paperclip. All those spots in my life where I alone had found colour were suddenly colourless. All so un-me like!

Anyway, a big part of why I decided to move away from Toronto is to get away from that feeling. Even though I really scared and unsure about moving away from my family and friends, I kept telling myself to be a soldier because I felt like that weird feeling would overwhelm me if I didn’t change my life. While some readers may assume a superior morality and label this attitude as “running away”, I prefer to think of it as “running towards”.

And guess what people, IT WORKED! I was chatting with my friend (who prefers not to be named) on Skype yesterday. I was telling her how my Japan trip was good and bad, and telling her how at the end of my Japan trip, I apologized to the friend I was travelling with and told her that I was sorry if at times I wasn’t myself, but I hadn’t felt like myself in quite some time, and I was worried I never would again! lol. A bit of a dramatic statement, but it was rainy that day and rainy days always make me feel overly dramatic.

Anyway, as I was relating this story to my friend on Skype, I realized that I no longer have that feeling!! I don’t feel restless. I’ll still be happy some days and a little tense on others, but who isn’t? I feel like what I think is my usual self. A giant weight has been lifted from the back of my mind. I feel good. And realizing that felt good too!

I think that I’d slowly started feeling good after I moved to San Fran, but a lot of things crystallized and fell into place over the past couple weeks. My nice apartment here, I got a date for when my stuff would get here, I made a couple friends, I got a tenant for my condo, I realized I have a pleasant and rewarding workplace, I bought some mascara, I had my post-vacation vacation in that nice hotel, and most importantly … I think the California sunshine I’d been soaking up over the past 5 weeks or so made its way to my bones and warmed me from the inside.

Smile :)

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1 Comment »

  1. I’m really glad your feeling happier, it looks like for both you and jess, the move was the best thing in the world. Sometimes its better to take risks.

    Comment by Julie — April 11, 2008 @ 10:58 pm


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