It’s no secret that I have some serious unrequited Wanderlust. I’ve been quite the escapist for most of my life and although I like to think this comes from a general thirst for knowledge and experience, and a strong desire to see the world, the cold, hard truth is..sometimes I am just running away to find refuge from my problems.
In my teenage years I sought the same refuge at the bottom of a bottle and no matter how many times I reached the bottom and didn’t find it, I kept looking. I smoked furiously for inner peace and never found it down that path either.
But travelling helped in a healthier way and enabled me to set up some road blocks to those earlier less healthy paths. There is something about that physical distance that really makes a difference. It doesn’t just make the problems feel far away, it makes them actually be far away and in that place of relief and space you can think things through clearly. I have a lot to think through.
The problem is I find it almost impossible to talk about the tough stuff. Which for me is the ‘how I really feel’ stuff. I like to be the stoic, reliable, count-on-me type, the agony aunt and the voice of logic and reason. If someone is having a hysterical fit or a dramatic emotional outburst, the chances are – it’s sure as hell not me. I’m the calm bystander saying ‘don’t worry, everything will be fine, I’ve got you’.
And I do, but it takes its toll. I don’t express myself in that overtly obvious emotional way in a crisis or in any situation really. I’d rather keep myself together no matter what is happening or how I’m feeling. I bottle my emotions up until they eat me alive and then I have to leave the country to piece myself back together again after a completely private inner combustion. It’s like or quite literally is a delayed flight response.
I’m trying to learn to express myself better, to be open about my worries and fears and deal with my problems head on, but it’s not always easy. I’m naturally very shy and introverted, guarded around people I don’t know well. There are some things that I still can’t seem to wrap my head around or find a way to talk about but I know the important thing is to keep trying.
We all run sometimes and that’s okay. We run away to remember what it is that keeps us where we are in the first place, or run away to clear our heads and see the big picture from a safe distance.