15-ish hours ago I boarded a plane and landed 12.5 hours later in a different hemisphere, thousands and thousands of miles away from the people I love.
Why did I do this?
Well, that’s the question, isn’t it? That’s the question I’ve been trying to answer for months now. I’ve been telling people the same rote answers – because I can, because it’s pretty, because who am I accountable to, because when will I get to do this again? These are all true, but they are not the truth. Until I got on that plane, I don’t think I knew why I had to come.
I’m running away.
I am every child that has ever shoved their stuffed animals and favourite t-shirt into their backpack and walked to the end of the driveway. I am every teenager who stared longingly at their car or stopped a little too long in the train station, wondering what they could put in a note to make people understand why they had to go. Because when you need to run away, when everything in you says, “Go, go, go!” the people who don’t hear that chorus pumping through their veins have trouble understanding just what could make you want to leave. It’s nice where you’re at, it’s comfortable. But there is something in your heart screaming and it drowns out everything else.
I’m not running from people or a place or a situation, though. I think I’m running away from myself. I’m running away from the person I’ve been – I’m going halfway across the world to sacrifice her to the gods of travel and the ocean and the written word. I’m running away from the person that made her decisions because somebody else wanted her to. I feel like I’ve spent so much of my life basing my choices around other people that it feels incredible to make them for me. And selfish. And stupid.
But I keep getting the feeling this will be the last time I run away. This will be the last time I look at my life and say, “No, I can’t do this, don’t make me do this anymore.” Because now I’m not making plans based around anybody else – wherever I go from here, whatever I decide, it will be for me. It will be a choice. I will not fall into a place or a job just because it’s convenient or because I think I should want it. Fuck should. Should has no place in my life.
I don’t know what I’m doing here. I have pretty much no plan. But I need to prove to myself that I can do this – that I can take off and do something totally unfamiliar and be okay. If I’m ever going to feel like I’m choosing my life, I need to do this. And wherever I go from here, it’ll be what I want and I’ll choose it for my own reasons, and that is far more than enough for me.