Sometimes, all you can do is run.
You have to.
The trick is, to realise that it is not so much from things but towards ..other things.
We don’t often have the gumption to do it, scared that its all about the 'running from' part, but when you finally wake up and commit to it.
The steps you take towards your nearest exit, pounding through your body to your brain. Every step screaming at you to go faster before the mundane absurdity of your life rips you back from the door.
Well, it is an exhilarating free fall, once it starts.
I got my chance. That day happened.
Me? I ran towards the freedom of a long deep breath.
One perfect day.
To everyone else in my life, that day was like any other. I was simply moving from one point of the obstacle course to the other. Hamster Wheeling. Holding on. Pretending. Eating my breakfast before weaving through traffic making my way to a ugly mustard office for an ugly mustard day.
Only thing is, none of them realised that on that day, I had taken my moment. To run.
To quietly slip out the door at dawn. One foot fall after the other, padding across the cool floorboards.
For that one day, I decided not exist for anyone else but me.
Kale smoothies, ironed work clothes, appointments to take, smiles to make, cars to wash, shoulders always flexed and ready to bear others problems, getting to work on time, lip gloss just right, hand cream, making sure not to leave too late so family won’t frown, promotions that never come, coconut water, pressure - so much pressure. Spin cycle classes, money, road rage, vacuous white noise, shiny new appliances, voices all around you wanting something from you. Little pieces they pick and pick at, until you feel your stitching start to come undone, like there is nothing left to leave for yourself.
At 38 and 9 months, I have learnt to say, enough.
As I reached for my husbands Ray Ban aviators, slipped on my favorite pair of faded denim, I was already half way to feeling like I was on my way to The Danger Zone. I was euphoric.
A Maverick. Not a Goose.
One final part of the plan though before I could take that first breath.
Messages had to be sent, to keep the picking at bay.
"Honey, I have headed to work early to go via the gym, see you later tonight xx"
"Sorry I can't catch up today, have too much on."
"Hi sorry I missed your call, will give you a call back tomorrow."
"Sorry to hear things aren't going well at the moment, unfortunately I can't get out of the office for lunch today to hear all about it, catch up next week take care."
"Yes sure, I can do that for you, will touch base tomorrow to get the info."
Everyone seeking me for something with urgency, suitably placated.
For the next 12 hours it would be me, the open road and a long playlist specifically matched to this solo adventure/ mental breakdown/ early mid life crisis...THE DANGER ZONE.
Why haven't I ever opened all of the car windows and sun roof before?
Why don't I always make sure I have the sexiest of music throbbing from the speakers all the time, to match my throbbing pulse under my denim, my skin; reminding me I am not dead yet.
The sky above me crispy blue, just as Autumn should be. I take all of it along the road with me, a far cry from the traffic jams and fender benders all of us are used to.
The open road. A secret. It felt desperate and naughty.
An adventure; The only one I could manage for myself so quickly and quietly.
For hours and hours I drove the long straight highway that made way for winding mountain roads and green forest so dense it became deafening, dulling the ache; the ailment.
I stopped along the way, to smile big, fat genuine smiles at all walks of life. I chatted to people in pokey cafes, with happy openness I forgot I knew.
I stopped on the oceans edge a handful of times, leaning on the fence posts, hands to my perspiring forehead to glance across the crystal aqua water, counting the black dots bobbing up and down on boards, waiting to catch each wave - their own perfect run to something..other.
Dropping my gear in the sand and diving in sometimes, when the water looked too good to not.
Collecting shells along the shore line, realising I was just like the tiny ones. Trying desperately to bunker down against the swell of the tide trying to rip me away.
Hamburger sauce dripping down my chin and arms as I hit one tiny town after the other. This is what freedom is all about.
This is what letting go feels like.
Finally, when the sun began to shine on the other side of the car, I then turned around at some point and headed back.
Music still loud, I match it with my singing, really singing, maybe screaming, before the loud sobs came.
The release I had been running to.
Anyone witnessing my delirium on that highway, may have just thought it was a girl on a road trip.
But to me it was the complete understanding that I had to do this for myself, and it was incredible.
I only wish everyone would do something so simple for themselves when they need to.
I guess it was because I didn't want to be just plain old me any more, I wanted thunder and lightning. I wanted to be the lightning.
Arriving back into town, just as the sun set made the sky bruise pink above, I could only laugh and stretch my arm up through the sun roof to try to feel, everything. Before it was over.
Eventually arriving home, smiling to myself as I told my husband work had been uneventful.
Nothing at all reflecting this tiny shell's victory in digging in firm as the tide slowly receded.
If he had of noticed the pink tinge on my shoulders and sand in my hair, he may have realised what a kick ass wife he really had.
Someone who does what she needs for herself, now she has learnt this one neat, private trick at 38 and 9 months.
Nothing can ever come close to that moment you feel when on top of the world.
A Maverick, having her one perfect day.