My friend recently introduced me to Thought Catalog, a blog(?) with many talented writers contributing on a variety of topics. The piece that got me addicted is Let’s Run Away by Gaby Dunn. It’s about running away with the person that you love. But not in an elope sort of way but an “disappear like the girl who got pregnant in my middle school class” sort of way.
As a single guy I can’t really relate with running away with the person that you love. But I loved the idea of just “disappearing”. Not move to a different city, not anywhere in the “real world”. I am so consumed by the American/Western culture and what is expected of us, that when I think of being adventurous I think of moving to New York. I never really stopped to think would I being doing something actually adventurous or just moving to a different place but doing the same thing I’m doing right now.
If I want a real adventure, would I have the courage to actually go somewhere where making money is not the top priority. Would I be able to live in a place where people aren’t surviving by sitting in an office and staring at computer screens but actually doing something with their hands putting in the labor to survive. In Lets Run Away, Dunn describes the observation she’s making as an outsider into the world we live in. We are spending a good third (at least those of us lucky enough to only work 8 hour days) of our lives sitting somewhere staring at a screen. We do this so much that during the weekend we’re too tired to do anything else but just get drunk and stare at a different screen.
We’re all stuck in this prison. This imaginary prison that we all agree exists. We stay there, we slave away, we follow the rules, we pretend that we’re better off. We give birth to a new generation of prisoners, we make sure they follow the rules, then we wait, and wait, and wait till Death comes and collects us.
When I was working in California, I saw the bars to my prison and I couldn’t stop thinking about whether this is where I’d be for the rest of my life. That’s why I ran away. Do I think I’m at a better place? Maybe. But this time I know, I’m not finished running, and one day maybe I’ll finally be able to escape.