A week ago, I finished a huge project at work, one 4 months in the making. For the month prior, I had been working weekends, 15-hour days, and all that fun stuff. So once it was completed, my first thought was, “Where can I go?” I schemed about renting a cabin in the mountains nearby, or heading to a desert spa for some sunbathing and relaxation. I dreamt of hot tubs, and books, and fresh white hotel sheets. And I almost booked the trip, too. But then I stopped myself. I stayed at home. I hiked. I went to yoga class and the farmer’s market. I cleaned the house, which was in desperate need. I downloaded NPR’s Top 100 Songs from SXSW and listened to all of them. It was pretty fucking glorious.
That’s new for me, though, that idea of staying put. Of making the best of it where I am. My flight instinct is strong. In the sobriety world, I’ve heard it called the search for a geographical fix, and I’ve certainly been guilty of that. I went to a great college and transferred after one year. (I thought I hated the town; I later lived there again and fell in love with it.) I moved every year or two for the entire first decade out of college, with the exception of the three years I spent in law school. That’s me: I leave. I escape. I’ve always fled cities and jobs and relationships. Problem? Quit. That has always been my solution.
It’s so interesting that all the things I’m learning about simply sitting with myself instead of drinking seem to be translating to other parts of life, too. So I’m able to sit with the situation instead of fleeing for some different place whenever possible. It’s a novel idea, just dealing with life instead of trying to escape it. Picking fight vs. flight, for really the very first time. I’m excited to see what other changes will come about.