Run Away

RVWhen my mind wanders, I often dream of Winnebagos. I dream of big luxury buses. I dream of Airstreams. I dream of the Partridge Family bus. I ask for brochures for different RV’s, and I save them in my file cabinet. I follow tiny house blogs and admire the ones on trailers.

This is not a new phenomenon. In fact, I distinctly remember how, as a pre-teen, I would get the Sears catalog (back when it was as big as a phone book) and spend hours tricking out the conversion van I would buy when I got older.   And even though I got a Chevy Nova for my first car instead of a van, I’ve always been drawn to the thought of wandering around like some sort of a big, self-sufficient turtle with my house upon my back.

That’s not an entirely bad goal.  To be free of possessions, to be free to roam where you want to (as the B52’s put it), is a breath of fresh air when the walls of cubicle-ville wrap you in their canvas claws.

But, as I sat one day a few weeks ago dreaming of converting the bathroom in my imaginary Airstream so it could accommodate people larger than hobbits, I realized my fascination with portable homes is an expression of a deeper issue.

I’m trying with all of my might to run away.

And running away doesn’t work.

It’s so easy to delude yourself into believing that you can leave all of your troubles behind and move on, isn’t it?  That you can just cut and run. That you can be like King Arthur in Monty Python and the Holy Grail and shout “Run away! Run away!” when confronted by your own personal Killer Rabbit. That if you run far enough and fast enough you will leave everything behind and it will all be different.

I want to run away from my health issues, my debts, my responsibilities. I want to run away from the mundaneness of my everyday life, from the feeling that this is all there will ever be. From the fear that this is all I’ll ever be.

I’m not alone – I think we all want to run away at one point or other. Some people dream of Winnebagos and hit the road. Others get involved in reality TV or football. They escape by surfing the Internet or starting a war on Facebook or playing video games.

We’re trying to run away from the consequences of actions we’ve taken, decisions, we’ve made, things we have done and still do. We’re running away from the fear of being ourselves and what that means. Yet our “self” is the one thing we take with us wherever we go, however we get there. We can’t escape it. And the aspects of our selves we’re trying to run away from are the very aspects we need to confront, accept, or change. When we deny those issues and try to escape them, we stagnate.  We tread water because we’re afraid to swim.

It’s easy to run away from the path you’re on. It’s much harder to navigate it and change it so it heads in a better direction. Yes, I dream of Airstreams and the freedom of the road, but what I’m really looking for is freedom within my own life. And that’s something I can work towards now – no matter where I am.

As long as I don’t run away.




  1. On the road again…..I wish. Who is to say you cant pursue the nomad life in the future? there are some great discoveries out there to be made and written about.

    • Betsy Horvath says

      @Laryn: Yes, I still dream of the nomad life – but I want to want it for its own sake, not because I think I’ll be able to run away from all of my problems. And I want a full sized bathroom in my Airstream. LOL

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