“If you run away, you take yourself with you.” I heard it a hundred times growing up. It was sound advice, but still, I ran. I ran to Australia as an exchange student and I spent a year a hemisphere away from my family at the age of fifteen. I ran to the former Soviet Union with a performing group and witnessed Chernobyl. I ran to China for an economic history tour during the Handover. I ran and ran and ran and although I was excited about travel, I was also running from something.
I am older now and I feel differently. Running away has an air of fear or weakness attached.
Maybe it is not running away at all, maybe it is running to . . .
I am not running away from tradition
I am running toward creativity
I am not running away from making a first impression
I am running toward being more present
I am not running away from over-scheduling
I am running toward an intention
I am not running away from play-dates
I am running toward gaiety
I am not running away from corporate politics
I am running toward global awareness
I am not running away from convention
I am running toward ingenuity
I am not running away from networking
I am running toward uniting
One is not possible without the other.
Toward is not better than from, as one gives birth to the other if we are willing to see the beauty in the contrast. I always come back profoundly changed. You do not need to travel to see the contrast but if you do travel you have to work hard not to see it. Travel has always been my catalyst for change. It is my personal growth permission slip.