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Running Away


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.)

Categories: Random Musings
  1. Jessica
    November 21, 2010 at 5:55 pm

    I kept a packed suitcase under my bed from the age of 10 to about 13 or 14. In it were a few sets of clothes, always at least $100 in cash, saved from birthdays or Christmas, and a few other personal items. I hate talking about this period in my life because if you ever mention being severely depressed at that age it generally gets brushed off as a “phase all kids go through”. But I’d planned my runaway very strategically, though I never worked up the courage to use it. Ironically I did run away once, completely spur of the moment. I got in a fight with my parents, and just walked out the front door, and left.

    I think there’s something incredibly appealing about the idea of running away. I go through periods even now where I want nothing more than to pack one or two small bags, and just buy a one way ticket somewhere. Anywhere. Like you said, something that holds me back the most is people, because I have a problem leaving people behind, but every time people leave ME behind, I have an urge to make good on my wanderlust.

    I feel like I’m going to have to write a whole blog on this…

    • Ali
      November 21, 2010 at 6:55 pm

      I think anyone, even kids, get depressed. It’s not an age thing; it’s an emotional thing. I’d hate for someone to be dismissive of that.

      You know, when people leave me behind, I feel much the same. The urge gets stronger. In that case (for me), I realize that it’s just a reaction to feeling shitty. But damn it all, if it isn’t freakin’ appealing.

      Please do write a post about this. I’d be very glad to read it.

      • Jessica
        November 23, 2010 at 12:01 pm

        On the one hand I agree that it’s a reaction to feeling shitty, but on the other hand, I think it’s also a reaction to feeling free. Like, if someone leaves me behind and I CARE that they’re leaving me behind, it’s usually also someone who had stopped me from going anywhere, so as hurt as I may be that they cast me aside, deep down somewhere, there’s a weight being lifted off my shoulders because I have no obligation to them anymore.

      • Ali
        November 24, 2010 at 8:14 am

        You make perfect sense. I totally get what you mean. 🙂 would comment more, but I have to finish today’s blog and get to cooking. Eep!

  2. November 22, 2010 at 9:24 am

    I still feel like running away sometimes. And I am thirty-five. 🙂

    • Ali
      November 22, 2010 at 12:01 pm

      Want to join me in Never Never Land? *grin*

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