What are You Running Away From?

Bolt Bus 2 Eugene:Music: Beirut

I wonder how many travelers get asked, “What are you running away from?” Whether in jest or posed in sincerity, it seems like a lot of people who ask this question think if a person is having adventures they must also have storage units full of skeletons and overdue payments in some far away town, or arrest warrants in several states, or scary demons deep inside, all chasing the weary wandering avoidant hobo over the world in search of a good hideout!

I’ve done a pretty good job in my short 32 years of life developing a knack as an escape artist. I won’t ever deny that – if a situation is uncomfortable, boring, under/over stimulating, dangerous, or if I’m tired, emotionally unstable, or hungry, I’m not afraid to find a way to get the hell out of there. I think I can usually do it with tact, so it tends to not be interpreted as ‘escapism’ (although those who know me well can spot it right away!) unless the environment is hostile and I may resort to aggression in order to Peace the F out!

Several days ago I share with someone awesome that I love transporting.  Something stirs in my soul when I’m moving – not the way it does in dance or yoga – but when going from one place to another.  Flying and planes, locomoting and trains, riding buses, hiking long distances, cycling to work, driving on a road trip.  Traveling stimulates an emotional connection to the world, the people around me, that is so intense I could admit to being addicted to it.  Being an air sign (Libra baby), it kinda makes sense to me and probably anyone into astrology – that like the wind I need total and authentic freedom to blow from place to place as I please and as is healthy, of course.

The emotional connection, the intensity of feeling that I sense is an altogether different type of peaceful being than one would encounter in mindfulness meditation or prayer as typically understood, but maybe for me this is a type of meditation or prayer. Not always mindful though – I’ve crashed a mountain bike because I got so distracted by planes taking off at a nearby airport!

Not wanting to answer this question without giving it a little thought, I took some moments to feel around inside myself, check in there, to see if I could indeed be running away when roaming the country (sometimes humans suppress and ignore the obvious).  The fact that I didn’t have a defensive reaction, or any reaction at all for that matter, was a good indication that I’m doing what I’m supposed to be and facing my realities head-on. I’m not running away, but I am on some sort of quest, a search. My whole life (everyone’s life) is just one big seeking out journey, is it not? To discover and appreciate ourselves fully, to love and accept our own true nature and share it with the world, this is how we make the world better. This is the way we become kinder to people we don’t know, and more understanding (less judgmental) of those who drive us crazy.  If we don’t do the things that align us with our purpose or if we never even try to find that purpose we are never going to be complete, and without that it’s impossible to be full of love for our own exceptional, individual, organism.  I’m sure you can see a mental cycle materialising here.

What I most want to proclaim to here can be quite easily summed up in the words of Turtle in a time of encouraging me on the trail, “You do you, and do you well!”




One thought on “What are You Running Away From?”

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