Who said running away from home is only for kids? When I was in the 4th grade I ran away from home. I only made it one block. I now have the resources to make it a little further, but guilt and responsibility have kept me put. I was thinking today, as I added up bills, checked plane fare to Tortola and stared at my passport, “What gives us that urge to flee?” Like Julia Roberts in Runaway Bride, standing at the alter while her friends made bets on how long it would take her to bolt for the door. What makes some of us suck it up and fight through the hard times while others give up and walk away? What exactly are you running from? Confucius said, “No matter where you go, there you are.” You can’t run from yourself. If you are the problem, well you are stuck with yourself and the problem. If money is your problem, you are still going to be broke. You’ll just be broke in a new location. However, these things all imply that running away is bad. There are times when running away can be a good thing.
I realized I’ve run away a few times. In 2005 I moved to Phoenix. I left my family, my boyfriend and my job and moved to a city where I’d never been and didn’t know a soul. I loved it. I made friends who I still have to this day. I needed to grow up, leave Los Angeles and have an adventure. In 2007 I moved to Atlanta to live with my brother and start a business. Again, I’d only been once, really knew no one and had no idea what I was getting myself into. And I guess you could say I ran away when I quit the IRS and became an entrepreneur. For me I haven’t run from I’ve run toward. Running away has been a positive experience in the past. Today, however, I feel like I want to run from responsibility. I’m tired of being responsible. I don’t want to pay bills. I don’t want to go to Costco. I don’t want to go to thanksgiving dinner. I want to buy a one-way ticket to a foreign country, take an Uber to the airport and never look back. I want to escape my life. I want to move away and become someone new. I want to be that American that lives in the cool flat in De Waterkant and hang out on Long Street. But instead I went to the Tesla Supercharger, then to Target, called a client about their tax issue and sat down and wrote this article. And I’ll probably go to Costco in a few days and I’ll cook the turkey and go to thanksgiving dinner and the bills will get paid because whether I like it or not I am a responsible person. And trust me, I don’t like it.
One day I was driving down La Cienega and there was a guy walking down the middle of the street. As soon as I passed him, he walked behind my car, stopped and started taking off his clothes. He then just kept walking in and out of traffic. All of the cars had to weave in and around him. He just walked without a care in the world. Naked. Down La Cienega. All I could think is, “wow he isn’t concerned with getting hit.” The drivers were concerned with hitting him. We were the ones thinking about car insurance and police reports and being late for work or picking up kids or dinner dates or whatever. Where did he have to be? Nowhere. Naked on La Cienega. For a moment I was envious. Then I remembered the whole thing about him being naked on the street and probably mentally ill. I wonder what he was running away from and if he ever had anything to run toward. We’ve all got to take the time out that we need for ourselves. Escape the pressures of the every day. Learn when to say no. Accept that running away from home is sometimes a necessity.