She felt restless again; a peculiar kind of feeling that started somewhere beneath her stomach and ended … well, she wasn’t quite sure where it actually ended, but it felt bigger than just her own body. It was a feeling – incomparable to anything else she was familiar with – as if she had to move in order to be truly satisfied. On some days it was enough for her to move her hand over a sheet of paper, leaving behind a trail of indecipherable words. On others, she felt as if see needed to go for a walk or, better yet, to pack her bags and leave for a faraway land. In other words: it was a feeling – no, a need to run away.
Running away had always been her favourite fantasy, a dream so easily achievable and yet nothing short of impossible – at least for her. Rationally, she knew that running away would not solve any of her problems, the concept being a mirage, ready to turn into nothingness as soon as one came close to it. In her dreams, however, it was almost laughable how easy it seemed to book a ticket to some random city and spend a few weeks – or months, if she felt especially adventurous – over there, forgetting all her responsibilities, all the things she had to do but simply couldn’t be bothered with. Sometimes she would sit by her window at night dreaming up different scenarios and storylines that would take place in those countries: a life as a chef in Paris, exploring the farmers markets by day and Montmatre at night; working as a freelance photographer, submitting pictures and stories from South Africa, New Zealand and Thailand; being a dancing teacher somewhere over in the United States, earning money one tango step at a time. At this point she would usually look at the Helen Keller quote pinned next to her desk – “life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all” – sigh and go back to sleep.
The problem was that her life seemed to belong in the ‘nothing at all’ category. Worse, however, was the fact that it was all due to her inability to believe in herself, her need to run away instead of trusting that people could appreciate her character, her talents. It was a very inconvenient characteristic trait, yet still something she was willing and able to work on. So, when the feeling of restlessness surrounded her the next time, she finally decided to quit worrying and start believing in herself and all those dreams. After all, if you believed in them, even fairies and magic could exist. And from there, she though, it wasn’t too far a stretch to achieve just about anything you had set your mind to.