Why Runaway?


michigan map bandw

I ran away from Michigan in 1992.  I was barely 17.  I took up with a rag-tag team of misfits and headed out across the countryside with a pack of smokes, a student ID, and a small pack of clothes. We stuck out our thumbs and hoped for the best.  What  I discovered, uncovered, and experienced was beyond anything my imaginative, grandiose mind could have invented.

When I started this blog, my plan was to post my stories.  I tried cheap, gimmicky ways (which few people took me up on, sadly) to get followers and attention for my work. But the series of Anonymous Ambition posts and responses set my blog on fire.  I had so many comments and hits and activity I could hardly breathe, let alone keep up with. The energy, however, was intoxicating, and  I felt real connections being formed.  Important discussions were taking place.

I set out to write a blog that highlighted my creative work, to promote my memoir. What I didn’t plan on was this: the community. The degree of interaction, the call and response format.  What I had wanted to be as a site for “simply stories” has turned into a full-fledged arena for discussion and shared experiences.  Like most things in life, the reality is way cooler than my initial dream.

So, I’m working on a piece about running away.  I’ll start serializing my adventures and misadventures next week.  In preparation, I invite you to tell me about running away. What does it mean to you? Have you done it? Why? Did it work?

Let’s spark some more discussion on What’s Broken to set the tone for the up and coming story of naivety and escape.


7 Responses to “Why Runaway?”

  1. 1 AndrewM

    Sometimes people runaway when life gets much too complicated in the place that they live. I’ll try to quote my late wife’s aunt (a University of Pennsylvania psychiatrist) who said that “she believed in running away from your problems. The ones that are really yours will still be yours in the new location”. That location isn’t always a physical place, sometimes its in your own mind!


  2. 3 BehindMyBooks

    I never even attempted running away, but I did go through a phase where I purposefully tried to witness crimes, hoping that I would be brought into the Witness protection program.

    And goodness knows if I had the funds I would just jump on a plane and disappear. 🙂

    • See AndrewM’s comment about running away. I thought it was too damn funny, and oddly, true. But who the hell has the money to jump ship to find out what’s their own crap and what is the people / situations around them?

  3. I haven’t physically run away, but you can put a lot of distance between yourself and the ones you love in other, obvious ways – and that’s as much a kind of running away, if not worse. Thanks for sharing Lennon.

  4. I ran away from a person I lived with for 18 years. Chronology of events:
    Ions ago I fell in love with someone I worked with.
    Got pregnant.
    Things were kind of OK for the first 2 or 3 years or so.
    I knew that he drank a lot but this was ridiculous.
    We verbally fought until one day when I got very pissed
    and there was some name calling along with swearing.
    He got mad and miraculously sober, told our child to go to his room, took his shirt off, he apparently meant business, pushed me down with his hand around my neck and held me there for a while. I figured he was trying to decide what to do with me.
    He let me go and from that day on I never said a negative thing to him again but he still threatened me etc
    By the time our child reached 18 I knew I had to leave or I might have done something I would regret.

    I had a friend from high school advise me how to get the man removed from my house which I put up for sale. My friend flew to where I was and with as many of my possessions as I could cram into my car we drove to NJ and stayed with a friend for a short time but I hated NJ and we ran away to Mexico.

    Running away for me was essential. I wanted to be free and not fearful all the time. Mexico was fun and beautiful and I loved and hated being there. The problem was my child who professed to me to be ready for the world did not have a clue what to do. So I worried so intently about my kid and I felt guilty as hell so much that I frequently thought of suicide seriously during t he 6 months we were in Mexico. My friend and I went to Mexico with no intentions of coming back but Things didn’t work out the way we planned, SO what else is new. We drove back to my house that of course didn’t sell and took up residence there.

    I don’t regret running away. It served it’s purpose.

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