Question of the day: DOES RUNNING AWAY WORK?
So I was listening to one of my favorite podcasts the other day (WTF, with Marc Maron) and he was interviewing one of my favorite authors (David Sedaris) and at one point, David said this about why he has traveled so much in his life: "Running away works."
I almost drove off the road, I was so happy to hear someone say it.
You've read my books. You must know by now how I feel about the powers of — at times — running away. I know, I know. Running away gets a bad rap. You get called a coward if you do it. And honestly, I guess sometimes you are a coward if you do it. Because it doesn't aways work, and here are two very sane adages to warn you against it, when you have serious problems to work out:
1) Wherever you go, there you are.
2) You can change seats on the Titanic, but the ship's still going down.
So certainly there are times when you have to hold your ground and face whatever it is you are going through, because if you keep dodging it, you will never be free of it.
BUT…there are other times when, honestly, I think the very best thing you can do for yourself is to run like hell — as far away as you can possibly go. Because there are circumstances in which a change of scenery CAN change your mind. Putting an ocean between you and somebody you really need to stay away from CAN help you to move on healthily. Taking a running leap CAN, at times, give you a better chance of learning to fly.
I've been thinking about this all week, and then, in this month's O magazine, I came upon this gorgeous quote, by another of my favorite authors, Rebecca Solnit:
"The bigness of the world is redemption. Despair compresses you into a small space, and a depression is literally a hollow in the ground. To dig deeper into the self, to go underground, is sometimes necessary., but so is the other route of getting out of yourself, into the larger world, into the openness in which you need not clutch your story and your troubles so tightly to your chest."
– Rebecca Solnit, from THE FARAWAY NEARBY
So what do you guys think? Share your thoughts on the virtues and vices of running away. How do those words "running away" even make you feel? Liberated? Tempted? Terrified? Angry? Appalled?
To me, I can't help it, those words carry a dangerously heavenly thrill…and always have. Some of the most glorious views I've ever seen were in a rearview mirror.
What do you think?