Friday, November 14, 2008

Driving

I don't run away from a lot of things -- I think maybe it's not in my personality so much -- but I understand the motivation. It it nice to think that I could snap my fingers, pack my car and leave behind the things in my life that have wrecked me, that hurt too much to cope with, that I would rather bury my head in the sand than deal with. And while logically I know that I probably wouldn't escape them because they're deeply embedded within me, like the small piece of glass I stepped on in Salou that worked its way deeper and deeper into my foot until a moment of discomfort became a stab of pain with each step, I feel like maybe if I just took the last step in the life-destruction I've engaged in over the last year, maybe I could burn away the last of my hurts and regrets from this stage of my life.

I joked with a friend months ago that after this election that I was just going to sell my place, pay off my student loans, pack my car with what I could hold and discard the rest and just drive and blog it. You know, stop in a town, waitress or bartend, be some other, stupider version of myself and that maybe by discarding intellectual endeavors I could stop living in my own head so much. He laughed at me, and told me to make sure I posted pictures of myself in low-cut shirts so I could make money off the ads. But I wondered if I could just go be the stereotype of my looks, really. I have always envied people that don't have this much internal monologue.

I left New York last night two days later than intended and emotionally a little worse for wear. Halfway through Jersey, with rain misting on my windshield and the worst of the traffic behind me, alone in the dark but for a smattering of headlights, Jackson came on.
All the way to Jackson, I don't think I'll miss you much
All the way to Jackson, I don't think I'll miss you much
Once I get to Lafayette, I'm not gonna mind one bit
Once I get to Lafayette, I'm not gonna mind one little bit
Once I get to Baton Rouge, I won't cry a tear for you
Once I get to Baton Rouge, I won't cry a tear for you
All the way to Jackson, I don't think I'll miss you much
All the way to Jackson, I don't think I'll miss you much
Once I get to Vicksburg, I don't think I'll feel the urge
I get to Vicksburg, I won't even feel an urge
All the way to Jackson, I don't think I'll miss you much
All the way to Jackson, I don't think I'll miss you much
And I realized that that's what I sort of wanted out of the drive, and that it was probably going to be as futile as the song suggests. I can't run away from what's wrong because I'm always there, and it's me that's feeling it.

3 comments:

SanFranLefty said...

Getting a fresh start isn't running away from things, as a lot of the issues follow along because they're inside of you. But sometimes being in a new place with new people and less of a history allows you to get a fresh set of eyes and a different perspective on the life you've been living up until that point.

Pointlessly running away won't do that, but thoughtful removal with self-reflection can help.

Or at least it helped for me when I got the hell out of DC almost ten years ago. I wouldn't trade the ten years I spent in DC for anything, but they were also ten really long difficult and draining years, and I never really realized it until I got away and could reflect on it.

It's kind of like when I had to have major surgery about a year ago. It wasn't until I was sooo much better that I realized I'd been dragging around feeling like shit for years. You don't always realize how bad things were until you feel better.

Hang in there, girl. Hugs from the left coast.

Britni said...

As someone who avoids things in the hopes that they will go away, I can tell you that it is definitely not the best way to deal with things. You are lucky that you are not the type of person that does that, because by not facing what is wrong you end up never learning/growing or making things worse.

That said, I don't think that starting over necessarily equals running away. Sometimes we need to go somewhere new, hit the refresh button on our lives, and give it another shot. You can really learn a lot about yourself and grow a ton as a person by making a fresh start. So I wouldn't think of it as running away. Unless, of course, that is what you're doing.

Running away doesn't fix things, but sometimes starting over does.

Jack Burden said...

Like you say, you can't run away because the problems are always going to be there, in your head. A fresh start is good, but can take too much time or energy than you have available.

At the very least, it helps just to get away from your daily routine, including unplugging the computer.

I'm sure with your job, it's hard to just walk away from the laptop, but if you can get away from distractions and your normal communications with people for just a day or two, and drive someplace you've never been before, you might find that shutting out all those other distractions gives you the energy and focus to tackle what's on your mind. Bring along a notebook and pen and just write it out. Your emotions are always going to be there.