Running away

running away

I was raised in a city I hated. When exactly it occurred to me that I didn’t like it, I’m not sure. Perhaps my mother’s feelings rubbed off on my sister and me, but for as long as I can recall, I wanted to be elsewhere. Where? Just somewhere else.

I’ve spent the last few months of my life, not elsewhere, but in my hometown, precisely where I didn’t want to be–not for this long anyway. While it takes just a short matter of days to be reminded of all the reasons that prompted me to leave, my family is here and spending an extended amount of time with them after being away for eight years is warming. Both positive and negative emotions have confronted me and I’ve been somewhat conflicted as to what my next move should be: Stay? Go? Where? For how long? The vision for my immediate future is fuzzy; I haven’t been able to place myself anywhere. In the past, this indicated moving somewhere new.

This morning, South Korea invaded my mind. Teaching English there is an idea that’s visited me countless times over the past five years. Maybe I should just do it, I thought. Do it, so I won’t have any regrets. A longstanding desire to travel the planet resurfaced and immediately I was taken by this idea of journeying foreign lands. Would it take me closer to what I want to be my life’s work? Hmm…no. Not really. But I would get to live in another country and see some of Asia. My haphazard life adventures have always taken me places…but what if this time, I’m not supposed to go anywhere?

As evidenced by all the missing dates between this post and the next, I haven’t been blogging; I’ve been sitting, thinking, feeling. My absence has granted me a certain perspective that didn’t exist prior to my hiatus. Just recently, I became aware of deep-seated feelings I was previously unable to articulate. I’ve been running from a discomfort that has enveloped my very being for decades. Decades! That’s no flimsy matter. It’s been uncomfortable working through this web of emotions, but it’s a necessary process that will set me free on some level or another.

Hours were spent researching South Korea, yet again, before it dawned on me that I’m just grabbing at something to escape that emotional discomfort. I’d like to travel and eventually expatriate, but South Korea is hardly ever on my radar. Only when I feel like I’m in a bind do I think of it.

As much as I’d like to be comfortable elsewhere, I think I’m supposed to be uncomfortable right now, right here.

Pretty much everyone, on some level or another, is going through something. Many are holding onto pains they’ve carried since childhood. It’s so easy to distract ourselves from the unpleasant feelings inherent to the processing of emotions, but there’s little benefit in doing so. Neither our stories nor our struggles are our own. How much power are you denying your story by ignoring your discomfort?

Find the good. It’s not easy, but it’s always necessary.

Image source: Kr. B.

My recurring desire to go to S. Korea isn’t running away, it’s me responding to a lifelong desire to travel. Sometimes, in the midst of living, we forget what truly matters to us. Some situations bring it out more than others, I suppose. So yeah…Korea. 🙂

December 14, 2009 | filed under consider this, pay attention, thoughts 


4 Responses to “Running away”

  1. Ngozi on December 14th, 2009 4:53 pm

    Great reflection piece! I feel that you are still processing what you have expressed–as am I. I know that traveling (or the desire to travel) has always been important to you. In good times and in bad. Not specifically traveling to South Korea but journeying across countries and cultures to comprehend our planet has always been a priority in your planned self development. It is important to remember this.

    I also agree that it is very important to realize when you are running away. Discomfort is a symptom. Whether mental or physical it is an alert from our subconscious telling us that something is not right and something needs to be discovered or revealed. Much like modern Western medicine, we usually “take” something to suppress these symptoms so that we can keep it moving…but that doesn’t speed up the healing. If you are meant to have a cold for 5 days you will have it for 5 days, no matter how much Sudafed you take. That’s just how it is. We probably don’t have a cure for the common cold because we keep inventing new ways to stifle the symptoms…we just numb ourselves.

    So, I applaud you for confronting your discomfort. I suggest writing down what you think you want to do and then revisiting it once you feel through this process. Maybe there’s a reason the deadline isn’t amiable to you. Maybe there’s a deadline that will be. Maybe there is no deadline at all. In any case, the maybe’s can be fun for they are the start of possibilities!

  2. Jonathan on December 14th, 2009 8:48 pm

    I’ve been reading your blog for the better part of this year. I like your blog. It’s uplifting, and makes me think. I was wondering why you hadn’t put up a new post in so long. I was checking seriously everyday. I hope your keep posting up thoughts, and qoutes. It’s blogs like this that help me to feed my mind.
    The reason why I’m writing you, is because i’m currently teaching in South Korea. I’m in Busan. If you have any questions about teaching out here, let me know. I would love to talk to you about it.

    “My home is in my mind”
    -Bob Marley

  3. mikey on July 15th, 2010 3:36 am

    The ultimate search for our true authentic self occurs when we are alone with our thoughts and emotions. Your reflections reminded me of something I havent done in quite some time…acknowledge what I am feeling. Thank you for the reminder.

    Keep reflecting and blogging…you never know who you may help

  4. Leandra on August 18th, 2010 12:22 am

    🙂 Thank you, Mikey. I’m glad I could be of assistance.

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