At 49 years old, if there is one thing I have learned about myself it’s that I am a runner—literally and figuratively.
Every time someone hurts me, disappoints me, criticizes me, or otherwise makes me uncomfortable/angry/sad/slighted, my instinct is to put some distance between us. I will—and have—walked away from a lot of people/things/situations in my life because it is far easier to not deal than it is to deal.
I ghosted people long before it became a thing.
When I was about 15, I realized that the girl I called my “best friend” since I was about seven, was an asshole who had been using me for years. I never questioned the way she treated me, I just thought that’s what friendship was…until I met real girlfriends and was like….wait a minute….
I had to maintain the social status quo, so we were “friends” until the day we graduated from high school, but emotionally, I was out of that relationship years before. The last time I saw her was at my high school graduation party. I never spoke to her again and I’ve never regretted it. I couldn’t wait to be free of her. I have never once missed her or wondered what she is up to.
Every old boyfriend is ancient and mostly completely forgotten history. It’s not hard for me to write people off.
I know it’s not the greatest strategy for moving through life. There’s a lot of collateral damage, I suppose. I wouldn’t know because I’m not there.
But there are ties that bind so strongly, all I can do is stretch them. Marriage. Family. Parenting. Not easy wiping my hands of any of that. It’s so very, very complicated and messy.
Complicated and messy are things I avoid at all costs. I want simple and easy or I want you gone. Away from me. We’re done here.
The election. Politics. People I know to be intelligent, kind and generous (or so I thought) supporting an incompetent, lying bully. I don’t know how to deal with that, especially when it is people I can’t walk away from, those I’m forced to deal with or be around.
I can’t wait for this election to be over and, yet, I think we all know things are never going to be normal again. The gulf is too wide, the wounds too deep, the tribes so well-defined now.
Where can one go to find peace now? How far do I have to run?
About Just Write: Just Write is my adaptation of free writing, a technique in which a person writes continuously and quickly without little regard for spelling, grammar, or topic. It helps writers overcome blocks of apathy and explore everything from meaningful topics to mundane observations with the same effort and without the pressure of crafting perfect prose. I just start writing.