© 2011 e.gosney

An essay, of sorts, I wrote on Oct. 5, 2010.

I'm a runner.

I run from things, though. Not to things, not around, not a runner with tennis shoes and shorts. No, I prefer a healthy dose of cowardice, disregard for reality, and a foolish optimism in the greener grass that must be on the other side. 

I have my family fooled, I'm sure of that. They see me as driven, accomplished, always making bad situations not so bad. But they are mistaken, or rather, deceived in their perception of me. 

Perhaps I am all those things, do all those things, but it is all motivated by a much deeper, more selfish and fearful set of attributes and desires. 

I am a runner because I cannot sit still, be still, settle down. Not mentally. My mind has an unhealthy habit of dreaming of what could be. Sure, I manage to enjoy what is, but only for a time. And then I must escape. I must. Or else I hole up, shutting myself off until I can make that escape. Or die, I guess. But I've always been able to break free, thus I am not dead.

Running from responsibility. I think that's one of the biggest motivators. Next, running away in hopes of being missed. Then, running in hopes of finding something better. There always has to be something better, right? I just haven't found it yet. Or else, I guess, I'd stop running.

I ran from there because I thought here would be better. I'm running from here to escape expectations, boredom, and a relapse into childhood. But I seem to be slamming into a wall of doubt as I run into the darkness. I can't see the green here, or there, everything is gray. And lonely. Always lonely.

I cried at a TV show tonight. Hard. I tried to stifle it, but there was no one there to see me weep, no mascara to run, and no reason to stop. I let the doubts, for a moment, squeeze out of my tear ducts and drop onto my shirt. And just as my fluids will regenerate, my doubts have already begun to mount. But it is too late. I must take the doubts, harness the fear, and run again. Not to anything, around anything, and not even from something this time. I'm just running. It is not liberating. It is terrifying. 


This piece brings satisfaction to me every time I read it because I was able then to capture exactly what I was feeling. And in a way that doesn't just describe it, but illustrates it. Simply. I can see, as I think you can too, someone running both physically and mentally through their life. 

I contradicted myself, in this essay. I just noticed it as I typed it up. I said I was running to escape expectations, etc., but at the end I say I'm not running from anything at all. I suppose both were true. I did want to escape the boredom of a part-time job and no friends, but that wasn't why I was leaving. My need to run came from what I described at the beginning — an inability to sit still and be satisfied with where I am. 

I say "am" not "was" because this unbearable desire to run is back again. I cannot think of word adequate enough to describe the suffocation, the pulling and pushing inside my chest, the ever-increasing static inside my head that is deafening my senses to all that I once enjoyed in my present life. 

My life seems to have so many chapters. This "present life" is one chapter. Short, like all the rest. But now I want another new beginning, a fresh page, a different patch of grass. 

I've heard it said that if you cannot be happy with your life now, if you say to yourself, "I'll be happy when ..." that you'll never truly be happy. I agree. So what do they say about people who are happy for a while and then change their lives in order to find happiness again? 

I suppose we're all discontents. Some just hide it better than others. 

1 comment:

  1. I would never consider you a coward. And I don't think that running to better things necessarily means always looking for the grass to be greener.
    I think what you're doing is moving on with your life. I'm thinking that most of us just run around in circles. At least you run towards something. Still...good, thought-provoking essay.