I grew up next to someone with “restless life syndrome”. My father to be exact. And while I did move around quite a bit, it never amounted to anything near what this lady has done. Meet Ms. Restless, an anonymous who wrote to Salon’s advice columnist Cary Tennis for help. Ms. Restless writes that she is unable to sit back, relax, and enjoy life. And this restlessness permeates not just her jobs, but her relationships and hobbies too. She claims to lose “interest and motivation after about 6 months,” and in the past 16 years she has moved 16 times, lived in 5 states, held 10 different jobs, and holds a B.A., M.A., and a couple professional certifications for two different areas. I seriously doubt military brats ever move around that much! Ms. Restless goes on to write that while it was fun in her 20 and 30’s, she’s now 40 and desperately wanting to just—stop. Stop, sit, and enjoy.
So what does the advice columnist have to say about all this? In a nutshell, Tennis writes that Ms. Restless is running away from discomfort and restlessness, and she must learn to disregard the discomfort like a fly sting. Moving has been something of a “filling the void” in this person’s life, her ‘what I do to get by.’ This story shows that while filling the void can range from a wide variety of products that makes us feel better, it can also be a human behavior in and of itself, and sometimes filling the void can be a destructive instead of constructive behavior for us.