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Sometimes You Just Need To Run

To describe my current state as “restless” would be quite a large understatement.

Day in and day out, I sit. Then I lay down. Then I sit some more.

You don’t want to run until you can’t.

Running feels good because you feel free.

When I was 8, I’d spend my days skating up and down my street. I’d go as fast as I could. I’d always stop as I reached the top of this big hill. I always told myself that one day I wouldn’t stop. One day I would be brave enough to take on that hill, full speed ahead.

I can’t remember if I ever did. I certainly don’t remember going full speed onto the busy road at the bottom of the hill. The nice thing about this hill was that it was always there. And you could look out past the neighborhood. Past the fields. On a good day, you could see Holy Hill in the distance.

I think that’s where it all started. This yearning to go beyond. To find the next highest spot and look out as far as you could see, and go there next.

When I was 14, that rush came back. I don’t think there’s anything more dreadful than looking back at 8th grade and remembering gym class. No one is cute in gym class. No one wants to be stuck inside running laps in the hallways because the rain is coming down and the rest of the gym classes have occupied the gymnasium. Yet for some reason, that day, I wanted to run.

I think I could have ran all day. I remember walking back into the locker room. I was exhilarated. And then everyday, I would run. Sometimes I’d run for hours, just because I could.

And then a year later, an unfortunate incident with a backpack full of textbooks rendered my knee in no condition to run. That was 6 years ago, I still can’t run.

I don’t quite remember why Forrest Gump was running across the country, but I think I understand it.

Why stay in one place if you don’t have to?

I mean, people have this idea of their hometown and laying down their roots and all that. But who ever decided that home has to be one place?

To me, home is memories. Home is a place you feel safe. Home is a place you can always go back to.

But, if that’s home, home to me is a fresh cup of coffee in the back of the Perc Place in Hartford. Home is the freezing rivalry football game in Naperville. Home is the tiny alleyway that leads to a tucked away garden in Charleston. Home is my school store in Summerville. Home is the quiet ocean in the background, looking up at the stars on Folly. Home is the red awnings at my favorite restaurant in Wilmington. Home is that painful dredge up the hill from lot 6 in Clemson. Home is the cool air and freezing kayaks in Southside. Home is stealing my sister’s shoes in Menomonee Falls. Home is panic of setting garlic on fire and trying not to burn down my own apartment in Waukesha.

Personally, I think that list is much too short.

But here I am. Stuck in this “waiting room” waiting for some sort of answer. Waiting for some sort of solution to feel even slightly better.

Not so that I can go back to work or go to back to school or get back to being the type of friend I want to be. But so I can leave.

The memories here have been made. The streets have been traveled. The sights, seen.

And so, here I am, pushing myself to learn French. Because I think that’s where I’ll go first.

6 months ago, I knew my plans didn’t involve a single place. They involved staying. Staying and finishing school. Staying and working my way up in my job. Staying until they needed someone to go to open up a new location. Or until an opening hiring up became available. Then I would go.

But now, staying isn’t my choice.

I feel like Zac Brown singing about being stuck in colder weather.

But, I’m the girl in the Brett Eldredge’s song, my heart says go, and he’s right you gotta do what you were born to do, cause their’s no stopping you.

A.

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