The Jittery Feeling in My Legs


Lately, I’ve been struggling with every English major’s worst nightmare: writer’s block. I feel defeated every time I crack open my journal or notice the Word icon lit up at the corner of my laptop’s screen. I know there’s a blank page waiting for me but it’s not comforting; it’s intimidating. Writing used to be my absolute form of release and it was my crutch through years of loneliness and depression. Every thought and emotion that would stick to the back of my throat during intimate conversations could later be peeled off and laid out neatly onto a page. But now, I feel like my writing isn’t me. I feel like the tiny voice in my head who knows who I am, is silent. Without the tiny voice, I feel anxious. I can’t sit still and I walk around aimlessly for hours just praying that my thoughts will sort themselves into something easy to comprehend and fix.

I feel disorganized. I feel off-center. I feel homeless and without purpose for the first time in a long time.

My mind is silent but my legs are screaming at me to go.

I want to go.

I can completely understand how poor little Ali Zaoua felt when he dreamed of being a sailor. To sail away to a new place where you could be anyone and be free of responsibilities and stereotypes for just one summer- can you imagine? And the jittery feeling in my legs won’t stop until we go. I can’t wait for Morocco.

This week, I wrote a paper on the US welfare system and why it is inherently beneficial to American children. The required narrative had me thinking of every sacrifice my parents have ever made just so I could grow up to be the person I’m supposed to be. That paper had me crying for every child born stateside who would never be able to reach their full potential just because of the circumstances they were born into. Ali Zaoua had me crying for every child born outside of the US who would also never be able to reach their full potential just because of the circumstances they were born into. But, cry as I might, what will that do to help those children? What will me being aware of their poverty, being aware of their existence, change? Maybe this will be a turning point. Maybe my jittery legs and quiet mind will lead me to a nation whose people I can listen to.

Maybe this isn’t about finding myself, but about finding them.

Feet, don’t fail me now.


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