It’s not me wanting to run away; I have nothing from which to run.
It’s not me escaping to another future.
It’s not even me being pushed away; it feels, instead, like I’m being pulled.
A few months ago - on my best friend’s birthday - I announced that I was moving some 1,000 miles away to Nashville. It was not my finest moment.
Why I’d chosen my friend’s birthday to tell people is still something I try to explain away but it won’t work. Why I’d chosen 1,000 miles is easier to explain.
Right now I live in upstate New York. It’s lovely - really. There are mountains to climb, major cities - and even another country - within a few hours, people I care about, some great - and some not so great - food. Here, home, feels stagnant though. As if I’ve done everything that there is to do here already, even though logically I realize that can’t possibly be the case.
There, on the other hand, is new. I haven’t done anything there; well, almost anything. How much can you really do in a barely 48 hour visit?
The choice of city was less about the city itself and more about the instrumental role on inhabitant plays in my life: Friend. You see, every so often I do get the feeling like I’d like to, for lack of better terminology, run away; just not to a place where I don’t know anyone.
I want to try something new. I’m in a place to do it now - I’m not married, I don’t have kids, I don’t need to be responsible for anyone but myself. The writer in me wants to go. The deeply-buried (almost to a point of suffocatingly strong) adventurist in me wants to go.
But I am forever stuck in my emotional, logical ways and the emotional, logical part of me is forever taking a self-inflicted beating for even considering the move.
Long before the birthday announcement, I told my mother. She handled the news well, more concerned about semantics than anything else. Later I found out that she cried. My mother and I have always been close, but I can’t remember a time when we’ve been closer.
My friends who found out during the b-day dinner had different reactions. One was - I think - furious and sad. The other just didn’t think I’d ever go, so it wasn’t something about which he needed to worry.
On top of my own, these are the three voices I have in my head, swirling around in the mess of paralyzed abyss that I can’t seem to make heads or tails of.
The writer and adventurer in me steps in, feebly attempting to trample the abyss without realize the quicksand into which its stepped so feverishly.
This is your life.
The ultimate problem I have is I’m not good at being selfish - at least not on a large scale. I don’t think they’d ask me to stay, if they knew I had to go. But I don’t. I don’t have to go. I want to, and I don’t know if want has ever been enough.
The pulling I feel is a strong one though. Fighting it is like fighting the ocean when you’re being pulled out by the current. I need help on this one. I need someone to help pull me to a shore - whatever shore it might be.
So I don’t know what to do. I’d be heartbroken if my mom or my best friends in the world told me they were moving away. I like to think I’d understand if they felt like they had to go… Had to try it out, just to say they had. But I know I’d be a mess. I’d wonder everyday if we were somehow growing apart; if today would be the day they’d come back… Or maybe tomorrow.
But I can’t help but think that the story I’m supposed to tell is out there somewhere. Somehow, someway, I need to decide if it’s the story I’m supposed to tell or if it’s just the story I want to tell.
Maybe you’re someone who believes your life is based on a book that’s already written; maybe you believe your book is based on a life you have yet to live.
I just don’t know what I believe.