I remember once, when I was little (under seven years old), I was upset about something. It was probably something particularly inane, like a missing Barbie doll or feeling ignored for whatever childish reason.
I packed a basket with clothing and told my mother (tearfully) that I was running away. This basket didn’t have a lid. It seemed huge (how would I have carried it down the stairs, without tripping over myself?). And I’m fairly sure that it was winter, and I wasn’t able to get my snow suit on without some assistance. (It was hot pink and AWESOME.)
So, in the middle of winter, armed with a basket of what that probably consisted of: my Mary Lou Retton t-shirt, underwear, my treasured blanket, and jeans – I threatened to run away from home. I didn’t. But I remember feeling, passionately, like I should’ve been. In retrospect, I should admit that I had a flare for the dramatic, and I was the biggest ham since Green Eggs. (Note to self: burn all childhood videos, especially the one of me singing to the dog.)
As an adult, or a supposed adult (I have a sneaking suspicion that I’ll never quite grow up – and I’m okay with that), I still have those feelings, sometimes.
It’s an entertaining idea, really. A frightening, potentially brave, decidedly crazy fantasy. Pack up the car, or a suitcase, and just…go. Be a new me. Be somewhere else. Just go on a different journey. Start over. Start from scratch. Leave everything behind.
That last bit is what stops me. Because, as much as I’m somewhat disappointed in certain aspects of humanity (or lack thereof), I don’t like leaving people behind. If it were just me, though – I might actually do it. I might just disappear. But as promising a notion as that seems, in reality it is a rather daunting task.
I think, sometimes, we all need to escape. To remove ourselves from situations. To take a break. To unplug. To be unreachable for a while. I’ve been entertaining that thought for a while and there always seems to be a reason NOT to.
But I think there’s moment where all reasons transform into excuses. That is a dangerous thing.
So, it isn’t the New Year, yet, but I’m going to start now. I’m going to stop making excuses. I’m going to give myself permission to run away now and then. I’m going to make a list of the things I can change – and do my best to forget what I can’t.
I may not pack a basket full of clothing, sure. But it’s a start. And I think I’ll begin with watching lots of DVDs today. If I can convince the Dog to sleep. Or chew something other than my feet. Or my pants. Or the wall. (He’s adorable, I swear.)