the laid.back Buddhist has MOVED...back!

Friday, November 2

The Runaways

My family is my home, and home is my saving grace.

Not a place for me stay, it’s a place for me to COME BACK to.

Clearly it’s quite different from being a castaway, as I’m not being rejected. Instead, I’m the one deciding to seek new possibilities.

Instead I am the runaway, first.

I remember how back in the 2nd/3rd grade we got to write short stories that were then bound into spiffy, grown-up-looking miniature books. I wrote books with whimsical titles like “Her Unicorn” and “Momma Mia, Poppa Pia!”

But my ultimate favorite was titled “The Runaways.”

Even having since left childhood, the appeal of such an idea has stayed with me. It’s the seed that spawns my incurable restlessness and my keen yearning to experience absolutely everything at once!…my bursting ambition to have it all, just so I know (and can choose for myself) what I don’t need or want.

And for all the words in the world, I can’t explain it.

Especially when I’m on the verge of realizing what I’ve been running away, running towards all my life thus far. I know it, I think I see it, and yet I have no idea what the It actually is!

It’s the fleeting epiphany that haunts me.

A sweet sound of the last breath.

This time last year I finally started admitting to people that I was applying for med school. Though only when I was specifically asked as I never offered that information first. And with each time I uttered the words “pre-med,” the surer I became that it was exactly opposite of what I wanted.

Oh, but I kept saying it still.

Each time growing ever more dissatisfied with myself.

So, this time last year, I started leading a double-life of sorts.

It seemed to others I was pursuing one thing when really I was doing all I could to run in the other direction. Taking the MCATs barely broke a sweat for me because I didn’t care enough to stress. I was fine with my average score (hell, even my writing scored the letter right smack dab in the middle) because my life didn’t depend on it.

It wasn’t the life I wanted anyhow.

Call it the very best-kept of all my secrets from year 2006.

Or so I thought.

This time this year, my mom casually said at the dinner table:

“The thing you wanted to tell us this weekend, is it that you don’t want to go to med. school?”

My dad and little sister jerked up their heads.

I took a deep breath, or two.

My parents' words of 'whatever you want to do, we will support your decision as long as it's your passion' was being put to the test. I know of their unconditional support, but I feared the crushing possibility of their disapproval, of disappointment.


Letting go of the breath I was holding, I was finally able to take my first...

“Okay. What're you going to do instead?”

...breath of utter relief.

At those words and to the surprise of everyone at the dinner table (including myself), I proceeded to cry puddles into my plate of half-eaten food. Not the pretty kind, mind you. But the unstoppable kind where my nose turns red and my cheeks get all blotchy, where I’m sniffling and hiccuping at alternating intervals…

The kind only my family and a few, close friends have seen.

You see, The Runaway would’ve run away following her heart regardless, but damn! running away is SO MUCH BETTER with the ones you love and respect the most.

It's so much lighter.

9 Musing(s):

Anonymous said...

How wonderful that your family are so supportive. You will find your future path, I'm sure. I am MUCH older than you and still don't know what I want to do with my life so there is plenty of time to decide!If your blog is anything to go by, I think you should write....

Anonymous said...

I hate how those big revelations hit you like a brick wall and are all of the sudden just reality - but I love that your mom knew exactly what was going on!

Knowing what you don't want to do is a huge part of finding out what you do want to do, and it can save you a lot of discomfort!

abbagirl said...

girl, this is another post that i can seriously empathize with. OMG.

it was the same for me -- except that, whenever i was asked, growing up, what i want to "be," i would say "lawyer." it was just the right thing to say, and i did at first really want to be an attorney. but it all changed when i went (ran -- LOL) away to college and had a great time with my english classes. and that's when i knew that the rote answer i kept giving people, "i want to be a lawyer," was no longer true. . . .

i never felt that my family would have been supportive if i abandoned law school plans. i didn't even really have the guts to put that to the test. instead, i continued on with the motions . . . took the lsat, went to law school, managed to finish the damned degree . . . and it is only after coming back home and confronting my fears and demons that i have finally begun to have the guts to do what i want to do.

even though i really don't know what that is.


seriously, you have a great, supportive family with a fantastically honest and open dialogue. and they really love you no matter what you decide you want to do. and i think that's fantastic! not only that, but you are gutsy and have a great sense of determination. i know how you must feel -- and i prolly would-a started crying, too -- because it is a huge, momentous thing. it is a burden to feel that your family expects you to be a certain way, and it is amazing to finally feel that burden be lifted away.

i totally gotcha on this one.

here's to the runaways!!

Susie said...

I'm a real runaway and I didn't run away because of school, I did it because of a man. I didn't want my daughters to be runaways too, so I have always supported them in their decisions in life, after all it's their lives, not mine.

I have two of my daughters as my students now, so I'm pleased with their choices, after all I have to be, I teach at that school so it has to be a good school :)

Valley Girl said...

Ahhh...I remember those mini-bound books. Did your teacher give you wallpaper scraps to cover yours with? Mine did.

Andréa said...

Amazing. I am utterly amazed at your strength. I thought I found what I wanted to do (and damn proud of myself b/c I found it at 23) the problem was every day I discover a new passion. I am pregnant so I love everything to do with babies, suddenly, and I am obsessed with cooking. I say, sit and ponder the thought. It will eventually come to you! But you go girl! Follow your heart!

Anonymous said...

Your posts of your family are so endearing! You are fortunate, indeed, to have such a great family and to realize how special they are!

Danielle said...

Wow! I popped in from Blog Catalog and can definitely see how you have become a finalist in the blog contest. I will be adding my vote.

Good luck in everything you do. It is a gift to have the support of your family and friends.

Wishing you health, balance and joy.

Be well and enjoy the day.

Anonymous said...

"My family is my home, and home is my saving grace.

Not a place for me stay, it’s a place for me to COME BACK to."

Well... my family and their home is fast becoming my place to stay.

I havent lived at HOME since I was 13. I was away in boarding schools for high school, and then I spent 17-27 running away. For real. Cross country. On tour with 'The Dead". I ended up in some shady places....

I landed back in NJ at age 27. From 27-33 I have been a 'regular person' for the last 6 years...

Now at 33... I am GOING HOME for the FIRST time in 20 years.


Winston Churchill