"One ought never to turn one's back on a threatened danger and try to run away from it. If you do that, you will double the danger. But if you meet it promptly and without flinching, you will reduce the danger by half. "
Churchill (1874 - 1965)
I've spent many years running away from things. I ran away from home as a teenager. I ran away from marriage when I was 19 years old. I ran away from responsibility and friends and danger and fear. Finally I decided to stand and face it all. I stopped running.
I ran away from California a year and a half ago simply because of a failed relationship. I'd had a few of those and I was tired of fighting and failing. I was tired of being hurt and hurting others - so I ran away after 3 good years of facing everything, never giving up or running away. After about 2 months away from California, I realized that I had run away from my home again, just like that scared 16 year old teenager I was once upon a time, and that I needed to go back and face the pain and fear. There was no getting over it without facing it.
I found a way to get back home. That story will be saved for another day, as well as the events that transpired along the way - but the short version of that story would be that my uHaul trailer was stolen on the way down, and I'll never see my belongings again. I lost it all - down to family photos and my art portfolio. I even lost a job prospect because I had nothing to offer when I got back to Los Angeles. I had no options anymore except to stand and fight.
I fought back with a determination and will to survive far beyond any I have ever known before. Sure, I've come through some scrapes with being kidnapped and living off of Saltine Crackers at every meal for 3 weeks straight, or even stumbling over dead bodies while lost in Prague at 2am all alone. But my determination to take control of my life, to take care of my sweet Oliver, grew beyond anything that I could even see in myself at the time. All I knew was that I was scared, but that I would make it. What other option was there? Oliver needed me. I needed me. It was time to stand on my own and do what I should have done long ago. It was time to take care of myself for once in my life. No roommates, no boyfriends, no focus outside of work and paying my own way - so that's what I did.
Not only did I survive one of the hardest years in my life, but I persevered, found where I belong, made a solid plan, and now I'm seeing it through. I've finally accomplished what I set out to do and I'm ready to take on the world. I have managed to support myself and take care of my own for a full year. I've had no roommates, no live-in boyfriends, no crazy nights out (not that I ever did that anyway) and no huge drama for a solid year. I've made it. I've finally proven to myself that I can do it. I can take care of ME. I faced my fears and stood fast. I didn't run away or seek shelter under the wing of another kind soul. It's been an amazing experience and I'm much better for it in the end.
I'm no longer the Run Away Kid. I'm the 30 year old woman ready to take on the world. Sometimes a person must either fight or perish. This past year, I fought! And I succeeded beautifully.
I'm finally ready for bigger and better things. I know what I want out of life now. I know where I want to be, and I know where I'm going. I also know, without a shadow of a doubt, that I'll share my life with someone who won't ever take me for granted, and whom I'll cherish in return.
Oliver and Sprite will be with me every step of the way.
"You cannot run away from a weakness; you must sometimes fight it out or perish. And if that be so, why not now, and where you stand? "
Stevenson (1850 - 1894)