Every now and then, I get the urge to run away.
To just drop all the ‘grind’, all the responsibility, all the annoying people, upsetting circumstances, arguments, scandals and chores, and to just run away.
People do this all the time.
Some people escape down the neck of a bottle of red, others go up in a puff of illegal smoke, or down the hatch with completely legal prescription meds. Still others chant themselves into an absence of feeling, or run themselves into a high, or work themselves into a place of oblivion, or amateurly act like nothing’s really going wrong under the surface.
And then, there’s always the escaping from self that comes from watching Netflix and Youtube, or surfing Facebook, or diving into the pages of a fiction.
Sadly for me, I don’t do any of these things (not including Mr MMB333, who I think it’s fair to say doesn’t exactly count.)
So then what?
How do I run way from all the arguments, injustices, people telling lies to the world and most of all to themselves? How do I find that space, that place, where I can finally just stop worrying about the evil that’s eating up the world, and just see the good? How can I get away from all the baggage I still seem to be dragging along within myself?
I’m stuck wishing I could be a little more ‘normal’ and a little less weird again, even though barely a week goes by without some other corner of neighborhood ‘normal’ exploding.
Last week, it was another couple we used to be close to who recently divorced. This week, it’s another argument with a good friend who is seriously losing her marbles and living in a fantasy land that I doubt will last much longer than the end of the month, when all the credit extended finally and completely runs out and the bailiffs come knocking.
The evidence is everywhere:
For as long as we don’t acknowledge our own problems, our own issues, all the lies we’re choosing to tell ourselves, all the people we’re actually hurting with our behavior, nothing can really change, transform or improve.
But I know, this is not the normal approach to life.
The normal approach to life is to strive after nice-looking houses, and fancy cars, and expensive holidays, and stunning yom tov tables and outfits, and to try to fit a few mitzvahs and a bit of Torah learning in around all that important stuff.
Working on our own bad middot is simply weird. Admitting our own errors is unthinkable. Talking to God regularly is something only eccentrically strange people do. Trying to peek past all the very ‘normal’ lies we’re all telling ourselves about how things really work in the world, and how much responsibility we actually bear for our own misfortunes, is just abnormal.
I know that, I really do.
And yet, I can’t seem to get more ‘normal’, hard as I try.
Which is when I really want to run away, because maybe in that different place, I’ll finally find others who are also strange.