Do you ever just want to go away? Pack up all of your things, say goodbye to no one, and vanish? Every so often I daydream about doing something like this, dropping off the grid and becoming a new person in a different place. This idea is appealing for many reasons: I could leave all of my problems behind, become a new-and-improved version of myself, and do whatever I want without fear of judgement, for starters. Sounds pretty great.
I don’t think I’m alone in this fantasy. There’s a big world out there and, if you’re someone who hasn’t seen much of it but wants to, every picture of a snow-capped mountain or a cityscape twinkling in the night is like a seductive whisper in your ear. With all of these undiscovered people and places, it’s sometimes hard to stay happy and satisfied with everyday life. Especially when that life becomes turbulent. There seems to be a switch in my brain labeled “flee” that gets switched on whenever a difficult problem arises.
As strong as the itch may be to run, as enticing as it sounds to reinvent myself somewhere no one knows me, I know that it’s not all sunshine and rainbows. I plan on travelling by myself after college, and I imagine that, even though I consider myself to be a bit of a loner, I’m going to get lonely pretty fast. Cutting off my friends and family is impossible; even if they weren’t worried about me, I’d miss them terribly. And, quite frankly, if I’m afraid of judgement now, that’s not going to go away just because I’m in a different place.
The strongest appeal to disappearing is the ability to escape my problems. If I just leave and cut off contact with whoever or whatever was giving me an issue, then there’s nothing to worry about. Right? Well, Sarah, not quite. The more I think about it, the more I believe that my problems will follow me wherever I go. In theory I could forget about a bad argument with a friend by hopping on a plane and never speaking to her again, but that’s hardly a good conclusion.
I guess what I’m getting at is that leaving everything behind won’t solve all, or even any, of my issues. I will leave my old life behind when I travel, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to start some new life either. It’ll be a marriage of the two, combining all of the good things and the bad things, for better or for worse. I can never have a problem-free existence, but I can definitely have a full one. I can’t say I’ll stop daydreaming about poofing my problems out of reality, just that, when the dreaming is over, I’ll actually deal with them.