As a child, I can remember the first time that I thought about running away. I got upset. At this moment in 31 years of living, I have no clue about what. To my young mind, (I was probably 11, maybe 12, at that time), the issue felt like it was the world and I had the right to be upset. If I knew then what I know now.
So, I wrote this letter, telling my grandmother not to look for me and to tell my mother that I love her. That I was running away and I wasn’t coming back and to not look for me. I wrote it and I cried. Then I went to use the bathroom but left the note on the coffee table in my grandmother’s living room. She had the front door open as it was beautiful outside and that’s just how she was. Front door open. Screen door locked. My grandmother found the note before I could get out of the bathroom. She was outside in a panic. When I came back into the living room, the look of relief on her face stopped any and all further thoughts about running away.
How different would my life had been if I had ran away then. How blessed I really was as a child. Instead of being upset with me, she sat down with me, hugged me and asked me why I wanted to run away. I don’t remember the answer that I gave her but in that moment, I knew that I was loved and that my life mattered. No matter what else came my way, I knew that my life mattered.
As an adult, I have had more moments where I’ve wanted to run away than I ever did as a child. Its funny how the pressures of life as a child, that seemed so larger than life at that time, fail in comparison of the problems of adulthood. Yet, as I have weighed back and forth the various ways to run away. Even asking others to join in my childhood folly of packing up and just leaving to start life anew somewhere else, I have learned that the problem with running away is that the problems, the root cause of the symptoms/issues that you are having, they never truly leave you because you leave the person or environment that you feel is the problem. They are just the catalyst. The root cause is what truly propels you to want to run away. To be like Jenny in Forrest Gump and ask God to make you a bird so that you can fly, far far away.
Life, in all of its complex beauty, truly doesn’t want to punish you but wants you to realize that the only person who can change a situation is You. If you run away, you will continue to end up in similar situations until the root issue is addressed.
I had a long day that felt draining and challenging. I wanted to pack up some clothes, buy a one way ticket to Paris and start my life over. I wanted a refresh/reset button. I asked a very dear friend of mine if this was possible to do. Her reply, why not? So I asked if she wanted to run away to Paris? Her reply, One Day. In that moment I had to smile and brush off my shoulders from the dirt of my fall, then remind myself that I have to keep going because running away won’t push me forward but keep me repeating the cycle. Always thank The Universe for friends who are in-tuned with what to say to snap you back into focus.
My Adult’s Guide To Running Away is simple. When you feel the urge, admit it. Say it out loud. Even say where you want to go. Once you get it out there, then dust off your shoulders. Close your eyes. Breathe deeply and get focused back on the task at hand. Take small breaks to recharge and regroup. Don’t let the symptoms make you believe that leaving will solve the problems. Terminate the root cause of your issues.
You can’t LIVE if you are always running away.
FACE YOUR PROBLEMS AND ENJOY THE JOURNEY.
NAVIGATE THE FLOW OF THE CURRENT.