Read it Or Weep: Get Away


I first considered the idea of running away when I was ten- a “spontaneous vacation,” if you will. It was infused into the music I lived and breathed, sewn in the fibers of my acid-wash “rebel” denim jacket I so proudly donned, and infected in my third grade brain. I was ten years old, and I already craved to get away from the world.

Admittedly, I was ten years old, and appropriately as dramatic. I lived under the pretense that if you did in fact swallow a black watermelon seed, you’d die a slow and painful death not to mention the literal watermelon growing inside your stomach- I was also absolutely paranoid. This fear nearly consumed me, and I was tired of being terrified.

Years passed and the feeling still sat in my stomach. Half my mind screamed logic and truth, and the other just wandered away. I couldn’t stand the life I was living. Some days, I saw the world in only black and white, and mostly black. It’s not that I didn’t love my family or care about my friends, I just needed to get away from the reality. And the cure I wanted required more than just watching TV or reading a book. My body ached for a change in scenery.

I longed for a blank slate in the universe. I still do. I want clean beginnings, fresh white sheets and an open road. Today I know that there’s no such thing as a restart button, even when clearing my browser history. Nevermind the fact that things end all the time. I know there are too many things in this world that will play their ending credits far too quickly before the next movie begins. There are too many doors closing too quickly- would-have-been’s, could-have-been’s, and should-have-been’s all rushing by.

Some days, my fevered day dream would be a reality. I’d pack a backpack, empty out my birthday money into a brown paper bag and lace up my Converse. Sometimes, I’d just run in the opposite direction with nothing but the clothes on my back. Take a determined step out into the driveway and disappear for the hour or two I was left alone and enter another reality- a reality where fear did not consume me, pressures and paranoia faded away, and tomorrow was not bound by the today. Everything was behind me, and the whole world open to me.

Admittedly, not the entire planet. I never ran away for more than an hour, even in later attempts. Still, I felt free. I didn’t have a care, and my apathy was mingling with a newfound thirst to live my life without the consequences. It was glorious.

Today, I still run away. Never without a note on the kitchen counter, but disappearing is something I’ve always found necessary. The sun on my face and a world to explore, a temporary vacation if you will. I’m not ashamed of how easy I found leaving, and how good it felt to delve into this new universe of possibility.

I know it’s wrong to say I love it, but it feels so good. The momentary high, the buzz and excitement of taking that first step out of the boring everyday and letting my hair fly free into the wind; letting myself fly free whichever way the wind went. I know I’d never be able to really leave my life- what I should do is find a way to feel just as liberated in my everyday, but until then, I’ll spread my wings. I’ll step out of the theatre and live my life as a movie out of focus. So, buy a plane ticket to Alaska an hour before the plane leaves. Watch that weird documentary on Netflix and order that sinister-looking Starbucks recipe. Ask out that special someone. It never hurts to take a temporary vacation to be the person you dream to be. And I can guarantee you, it’ll be even better than an hour-long sprint to nowhere with a backpack and the fear of being afraid resting on both shoulders.