I frequently picture myself running. Running from home, running from college, running from jobs, running from being a kid, running from being an adult, running to somewhere unknown, somewhere exciting, somewhere – not here. I guess it’s the equivalent of imagining a red balloon floating up into open space, but it isn’t a conscious stress reliever, more of a manifestation of a need to get out from underneath all the teenage/young adult feels. It’s a deep visceral longing to be any other age, doing anything else, being anywhere else. Just being generally over it.
For the time being, there isn’t a whole lot I can do about it. What I want to do is a book a ticket somewhere, pack a bag, and leave the plans for later, but unfortunately that isn’t remotely practical on a tutor/babysitter’s unpredictable salary. (And it won’t be until next year when I have a college degree and will hopefully be more employable).
Failed spontaneity is a familiar concept for me. When I was a little kid, and still truly thought of leaving as running away from home, one of my favorite books was From The Mixed Of Files Of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler. In it, Claudia Kincaid and her brother run away from home and stay in a museum. I thought it was brilliant. But, as it always has, my practicality got in the way of adventure. As I planned out my trip it seemed more and more unattainable. The biggest issue was transportation. Being homeschooled, I didn’t have access to a school bus, and we lived out in the suburbs with no readily available public transport. Or at least, the Marta station was so far away that I wasn’t entirely sure where it was. So getting to an area with a museum was out of the question. I thought about going to the park instead, and sleeping on the slide. That sounded fun. But what would I do about food? A backpack full of sandwiches wasn’t exactly a long term solution. Needless to say, I never even began to pack.
Now, a decade later, I still feel like leaving home would be about as easy as running away when I was seven. The only difference is that instead of debating what kind of sandwiches I should bring for sleeping in the park, I listen to a lot of Mumford and Sons and strive to get at least a 3.5 in my computer science major courses.