“Sometimes,” Joe said as he gulped down the last of his coffee, “you’ve got to run away from one thing so you can run toward something else.”
I spent last night with my sister, an unusual evening, as they usually are when I am with her. We spent several hours talking, being family, I suppose it is normal that we eventually speak of the childhood we shared. My childhood was spent moving, spent saying goodbye to people, places, and things. My sister put it quite aptly when she stated, "We spent our childhoods running, always running." She was right, we did, or more aptly, our mother did. My father was an alcoholic, when the small towns we lived in became too small for her, (when too many people knew the truth), we then moved. Sometimes if the town wasn't too small, we would only move across town, if a smaller town, then we moved to another. Sometimes my father moved with us, sometimes not. But it all boils down to running away.
The lasting legacy of that continual running, is that the four us, my siblings and I, as adults, stay...sometimes we stay too long, even when it is the worst choice to make...we stay.
Why do we stay? I have my theories. We stay too long, because we each think that staying in one place will fill us, and our children, with a sense of stability and security. It doesn't, only we as their parents can do that.
We may also stay longer than we should, because, we have held within ourselves the misplaced notion that we must stick it out no matter what, that by leaving we are giving up.
I haven't moved far, but I did move, and I am even dreaming of moving farther away in the not so distant future (a year or two at the most), I don't view that future move as running away from my life. But running toward something.
One of my greatest fears regarding myself, has always been...I won't make the goals I set for myself, I fear I will alway feel as if I failed me. One fear, that I can't seem to let go of. A fear that can bring me spiraling into the fog of depression and inactivity faster than any other. A fear that has my muscles coiled with tension, a fear that has paralyzed me at times. It is the fear...the one fear...that keeps me from fully embracing my dreams.
Today, I am tired of that fear, I am tired of holding myself back because I fear I will not live up to my dreams. That fear, at times keeps me from enjoying today as fully as I wish to.
Many people in my day to day life, tell me I appear so calm when I speak of the future...maybe...just maybe that is because I do not fully believe in it yet.
Once again, I feel I must learn to run, only this time it won't be running away, but to.
Another line of someone else's that set me to pondering this night.
I spent this evening with Miss Daughter, and her 17 year old Boyfriend. We did not spend our time examining any deep meaning to life, it was an evening of joking, and lighthearted banter, but towards the end of our evening, Boyfriend turned to face me, and said,
"Sunny, you know...It isn't that we have to go through life trying to find ourselves, we have to get through life learning to accept ourselves."
"Hold onto that thought Boyfriend, it is a very wise thought, very wise."
My first thought was again about running. I know who I want to be, but on those days I spend untoward amounts of thought attempting to define myself, to find me, perhaps, I am not letting the past be the past, I still hang onto it, sometimes too long. Or maybe I am running, but I am running away from my future, along with running away from 'who' I am now. Me accept me, just accept me as I am? Wow, what a concept.
What brought on this little gem of wisdom from Boyfriend? His fortune cookie was empty...there was no little slip of paper contained within. Thus, he decided he was meant to create his own.
I marvel at the wisdom of teenagers, I consider myself very lucky that they wish to share their thoughts with me.