I believe that you can run from your problems, but in my experience, your problems will always have more endurance than you. I am a big fan of running, not the kind that keeps your waistline slim (as my size 12 jeans will testify), but the kind that puts distance between you and reality.
I made my decision on college based not on academic integrity of the school, not on where I received the most scholarship money, and not whose dining services offered weekly foie gras (although I am a foodie, as my size 12 jeans will testify) but on the furthest location from my home that was monetarily feasible. My rationale for the geographic displacement was I needed to distance myself from my alcoholic parents, my 16 year old brother and his 15 year old pregnant wife. I told myself that if I stayed in my home state than I would be consumed with them rather than with my school work.
In college I ran from my roommates. Within a month’s time my perfect roomy became (in my eyes) a flaming ball of annoyingness. So when contracts and leases wouldn’t allow me to run far, I would run short distances for extended periods. I stayed with friends, with boyfriends, with strangers, and occasionally alone in my car, just to avoid where I was. With my college career ending, I am now searching for an apartment as far from campus as rising gas prices will allow, and asking for transfer to an office I’ve never worked at before, all to get away from those once friends, boyfriends and strangers.
When I realized my running was becoming a problem, I sought counseling. Unfortunately, I ran from the counselors as well, never giving notice of my leave.
I’ve always had an affinity for a quote by W. Somerset Maugham, “I have an idea that some men are born out of their due place. Accident has cast them amid certain surroundings, but they have always a nostalgia for a home they know not.” I always thought that I was searching for my due place, that with each change of scenery I would find what it is that I’m looking for. What introspection keeps showing me, however, is that in life’s game of hide-and-seek I continually hide when it is my turn to seek.
Next year begins a new chapter of my life, as I move from the college world to the “big-girl world”. I’m currently searching for an apartment. I hope I find myself.
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