Fight…or Flight?

So here I am, aged 34 and 4 days and writing another blog post.  Aren’t you impressed?  Of course, it is 4:33am and I should be sleeping but although I’m on the verge of tears, I’m also actually so happy to be writing at all.  So I shall fore-go some sleep and get what’s on my mind onto my blog.

First off, you will note that despite my change of age, my blog title remains the same.  I don’t think I can change it right now, because I cannot deny that I feel more lost in life than ever.

I WANT TO RUN AWAY.  Far, far away.  Perhaps that is the problem – to a land far, far away, a fairy tale place where all is good and I can be happy and not worry and not have any problems.  Unfortunately, I know from the ‘Boston Debacle’ back in February that running away doesn’t solve everything.  Sure, it gets you away for a bit then brings you back to your problems with no money, which then causes a ton of issues in itself.

But the fact is, I’ve been finished work for a week now, and those feelings of escapism that plagued me in the first few months of this year are back.  If it weren’t for my cat, Harry (aka The Bish), I would have been on a plane by now, in the reckless abandonment of The Pursuit of Happiness.

Well that’s the motto of the USA isn’t it?  Life, Liberty and The Pursuit of Happiness.  But the US closed its doors to people like me years ago, after god knows how many millions flocked there in the few hundred years since Mr. Columbus “discovered” the place (any good American Studies student will tell you the Natives were living there squillions of years before the English came and started colonising the place for their own fulfilment.

Perhaps I’m only doing what hordes of English have done before me – run away to try and find a new life.  Undoubtedly for some, it worked.  Others were not so lucky, like the settlers of Jamestown, Virginia who, by the time the ship bringing supplies from England returned, had disappeared off the face of the earth.

Yet the more I fight against the flight, the more I just want to get the hell away.  I’m tired of fighting.  Fighting against not belonging.  Fighting against not knowing my place in life.  Fighting against being me.

Maybe the idea of going away has been exacerbated by the book I’m currently reading, Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert.  Written in 2006 with a film adaptation in 2010 starring Julia Roberts, the tagline says it all: “One woman’s search for everything”.    With the exception of Liz’s pursuit of divine intervention, mainly through getting up at 3am to pray in an Askram in India, that book could have been written by someone else – me.

But I must stress, I don’t want to run away based on the fact that Liz Gilbert ran away and found happiness.  This is something I’ve been wanting to do for more than half my life.

When I was in my mid-teens, my parents talked about moving house.  I begged them to, although they never did, and my dad still lives in that house now.  When I was almost 19, I ran away to London for a year (with my parent’s blessing), but came back when the going got tough.  I guess the truth is, you can run somewhere new, but you have to take yourself with you.  In the words of Matchbox Twenty, “I can’t get myself to go away.”

Throughout my marriage we had a few opportunities to potentially move away from Lincoln, for which I was always for 110%, but alas, we remained in Lincoln.  Last year I managed to run away to America as part of my degree, but had to come back for fear of US immigration not ever letting me back in.  In November 2011 and February 2012, I ran away to the States for shorter trips, with varying degrees of unsuccessfulness.

The only time I have ever properly “run away” was last summer, when I got as far as Sheffield.  Making a spontaneous trip to meet a guy I met on an Internet dating website, I stayed overnight with him then got the train home.  I’d told my housemates I was going to Sheffield, to which they assumed I was visiting my mum, until lack of communication forced them to contact my brother and then my mum, and I returned to the Spanish Inquisition of where I had gone and why I had gone.

So fast-forward almost a year, and here I am again.  I carry my passport with me, so it’s a miracle I haven’t just disappeared off somewhere before (trust me, I’ve thought about it).  And before you ask, that’s not why I carry my passport.  But when you’re a student and you hang out with young people, you will inevitably get asked for ID.  There is nothing worse than reaching a point in your life when you just need a goddamn drink and Wetherspoons refuse to serve you because you look under 30 (at the age of 31 – but don’t get me started on that one).

I have the opportunity to go away for the summer, well, there is potentially somebody who could move into my room almost straight away, and who adores Harry.  The only thing stopping me I guess is money, and not wanting to leave myself in a worse situation on my return (assuming I do return), well, what to do?(It’s times like this I wish I had a rich aunt with a big house somewhere hot I could just go and stay.),

As I sit on the sofa, snuggled under my Sainsbury’s boucle throw, Harry sits on the floor looking up at me.  Then he wanders off, in the direction of my bedroom.  His thoughts on the matter are obvious.  This could take forever.  Let me know when you’ve made a decision, mother.  Until then, I’ll be fast asleep in our bedroom. ❤

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