I drove across the country
I drove across the country once to escape my life. That's what I thought, at least. You know how people tell you that you shouldn't run away from your problems? They're wrong...sort of.
I was going through a difficult time in my life, so the only way I felt I could be free from the bonds of my ex boyfriend and my dead end job was to run. I had been treated so poorly by friends, family and coworkers that I realized my only chance for sanity was to get away. I may have ran for the wrong reasons, but I ran and it was the best decision I ever made. I learned that although I thought I was running from them, I was really running from myself.
I was under 21 so I couldn't even stay in a normal hotel half way through my drive. I blamed everyone I possibly could, because after all, this wasn't my fault. I didn't make the rules. After 15 hours in a car, I really needed to sleep in order to make the next 15 hours to wherever I would end up. I ended up staying in the creepiest motel. I bolted the door and ripped the disgusting comforter from the bed. I cranked the heat to 80 and slept on top of the sheets. I woke up in a pool of sweat but that morning I woke up happy because I was still alive. Happy that I was able to do what everyone told me I couldn't. And I did this on my own. I felt stronger.
I learned that freedom comes from within and often you find it on the road to nowhere. I survived the drive and I survived living alone for a few months. In a strange town, where I knew no one. I had roommates. I didn't know them. And I didn't want to. I felt like I didn't want to get to know anyone. Until one week I got so sick and didn't leave my room and they left me care packages and notes outside my bedroom. I remember thinking that I was wrong all along. Not everyone is bad. Not everyone has ulterior motives. Not everyone is to blame for my own problems. I can't always run from everything, but this time it was worth it. This time I grew stronger.. After months of barely talking to anyone, I realized that I did need people...that it was me who needed to change. I would have never realized this if I had not run. I would not have become such a strong person if I had not spent months alone in my own thoughts.
I made some friends for a few months and they are beautiful people, they taught me to be strong again. Not long after I moved back to my home town. I was still technically running, but this time I had a greater appreciation for mankind. I realized that not everyone is awful. I don't really keep in touch with the friends I made but I see them on social media and every day I am grateful that I ran. If I hadn't, I would still be stuck in a rut. Now I run away from everything that brings me unhappiness. In relationships, I stay and fight, but not if it is destroying me. In jobs, I stay until they find my replacement, but not before it makes me grind my teeth off. In towns, I stay until I realize there is nothing left for me. In friendships, I stay until I realize I'm not helping that person become a better person.
So, if you're feeling trapped, used, abused... I promise you... Run Away. Maybe not from your physical location, but immerse yourself into the things you love. Meet new people. Try new things. Run away to discover yourself. Run away form the person that you are to discover the person you can be. Sometimes when we think we are running from people, we actually just need to run from ourselves. It helps when you find people who will treat you with such love and kindness that you will find yourself again. Sometimes you'll find the strength inside you that says you can handle anything. Maybe you'll even find both. Just always remember to keep running.