You’re listening to Art of the Unknown, the podcast about traveling inwards, outwards and onwards.
Hi and welcome to episode number 4. In this episode I want to talk about the idea of running away. So when I talk about running away, I don't mean running away from anything physical, I mean running away from ourselves. So often i the past, I have used travel as a means of running away physically but also in terms of running away from myself. I can say that I have definitely used travel as an escape and not just as a means of exploration. And I feel like the reason I did this was because I thought if it changed my environment on a grand scale, then I could the way that i related to the world and then ultimately I would change myself. I wouldn’t just change how I feel but I would be able to change the way that I am. I thought that I could so easily and quickly become the person that I wanted to be just by leaving or by surrounding myself in a completely new environment. Or realistically, I thought that I could become who I wanted to be by diving into an environment or a society where I was surrounded by people that didn't know me. SO i thought that was the opportunity to become a new person. That was maybe the quick fix I was hoping for. But..ha.. no. Its not really that simple
So back in 2013, I had my heart broken. It wasn't just broken, it was shattered into a million little baby pieces by someone who I was completely in love with. It broke me in so many different way, I can’t even keep track. I just felt completely destroyed. At that point in my life, I had reach, what I still considered, an ultimate low. I was in a place of depression and pretty thought that I wouldn't get out of it. I didn't think that I would ever heal from this experience. And looking back, I can say that I was sadly chained to that experience. I was chained to the hurt that I experienced due to the break up. So i needed some change and I needed it real quick, okay. After a few months had passed, nothing had improved that much.. only a little bit. So good old Sarah, since I wasn't healing as quickly, the only decision I thought I had was to leave. I thought my solution was to get the fuck out of California. I hated feeling the way that I felt constantly and I was so sure that the change I needed was physical. I was going crazy working in the same places, the same job, seeing the same people every day. SO for me, the only solution was to leave… but I guess that is just what I do sometimes. I considered moving out of state but for some reason…nope! Got to go balls to the walls. Moving out of state was definitely not drastic enough for me!
Slowly but surely it became clear that, at that point in my life, the only solution for me was to leave the country. Right? I was DEFINITELY not running away from my problems at that point. So once I had that idea in my mind, there was no stopping me. I was convinced: the solution was simple. I had to buy a one way ticket to South America. Yep. That was the only way that I was going to get over my heart break. That was the only way that my life was going to change and that was the only way that I was going to heal myself. I had never set foot on that side of the world before. I’ve never even been to a Spanish speaking county but you know what? I was like fuck it. I can either stay in California miserable or I can make a drastic change in my life in order to help me heal and move on and travel. So yeah. Had to do it. Just not even for my own desire, but I felt like I had to do it for my own personal sanity. So yes, anyways, back to the story: booking the one way ticket to South America. The trip helped, I mean it did but only for so long. About two months into it I was having the same issues, the same fears, the same pains. I mean nothing had really changed. It changed a little bit but everything started coming back up again. At this point I was traveling through South America, I was having a great time. I was happy, I was doing things. But I was thinking: why the hell am I still crying over my ex. This doesn’t make any sense. No! This trip was suppose to help me! It was suppose to make me happy, dammit! I was suppose to heal me. Why am I still upset? Nope. Wrong. Not even close Sarah. Nope.
I mean, yes, travel in a way can be very healing. And no doubt it can change you. But the way I was using travel… I was using travel as an escape. I was using travel as a distraction. I was using travel as a shield. This was a coping mechanism I was using to distract myself from the real reasons and the pains that I was actually feeling. I thought if I left the country and I put the focus completely on the outside world, then didn't have to look within and deal with the things that were really bothering me. And I wasn’t dealing with why I was so hurt to being with. So in a way, I was definitely using that trip as a way to mask the pain. I was using it as a way to cover it up. To hopefully distract myself for long enough that eventually time and healing would take its natural course and by the time got back from my trip I would just magically be healed from all the wombs that were ripped into me. But looking back I learned that the pain that I felt was there the whole time. Yeah, there were moment when I was traveling and I was like “OMG I’m so happy, I feel so free, this is where I need to be” Yes. Which was very true . BUT the pain that I felt, which was the catalyst for the trip, that pain was still lingering. You going to see the top of Machu Picchu and pet llamas.. that ain’t going to heal no fucking heartbreak. Yeah, its nice and fun and you get all worldly and shit. But that ain’t going to heal no fucking heart break. That is not going to take away the deeply rooted pains that you have.
So yes, the pain was lingering and it was waiting for another change to expose itself to the world. Because unless you confront your pains, unless you look you pains in the eye they’re not going to go anywhere. They’re going to stay there. You may not see them for a while, but they’re there. And the reason that that pain was still around was because I had never dealt with it. I was never questioning or examining myself enough. Or wonder why was so I hurt to begin with? Where did that come from? And I eventually realized that the pain that was cut so incredibly deep inside of me had nothing to do with another person or man or a broken heart or relationship. Yes, the breakup was a trigger to the pain. That was a way for the pain to expose itself. But that wasn't the reason for the pain as a whole. It was merely a catalyst for that pain to be brought to life. So when it happened, it hurt because it felt like all of the love inside of my body and inside of the universe had been completely stripped away and all that was left was, not even a heart anymore, it was emptiness. It was sorrow. I don't even know how to explain it but I did not like it.
Slowly but surely, I began to realize that the reason it hurt so and and why that love was stripped away at that point was because I was relying on love from an outside source. I was relying on my ex to supply me with the love that I thought I needed. And then guess what happens when he gone? So is the love. And then I was left confusing this breakup and this end of a relationship for a lack of love. But it wasn't the love from him, I realized. What was missing was the love that I needed for myself independently of another person. Because once that love is there, once that solid foundation and self love and self worth and self respect is there.. that cannot be messed with by any other person. Once you have that in you, no one else can take that away. Yeah, relationships can end, things can happen, shit can go down… but its not going to take away whats already there. And you know what, I didn't have that to begin with. I did not. So one of the greatest things that I learned from this is that needed to love myself. And I saw myself so horrible broken and stripped away… it was an emotional rock bottom. Enough about that! The main point that I am trying to make is that you can see that it was the fact that I was trying to run. I was trying to escape. I was trying to keep on moving in order to avoid looking at myself and deal with my problems. So yes, I was running away from myself. I was trying to run away from my problems and I learned that I can’t really do that. I tried! I gave it a good shot but nope! Close but no cigar. It’s fine. Sometimes you can only learn not to do things by doing them. Such is life. But this time around, I can honestly say that I am not leaving the country out of desperation. I am not trying to run from myself. I am not trying to leave anything behind. Any part of myself behind. I cam completely going into this trip 100% ready and 100% with myself. I feel like I am becoming whole. I am becoming a whole person. I feel like I alone am giving myself everything that I need. So, this trip isn't looking for me to fulfill anything. This isn't going to be me trying to hide anything or trying to receive anything or get anything. I’m not even looking for anything. I feel like this time around… this trip is purely an expression of how I am.
And I can say that I am not running from myself and that feels good. Because at this point of my life, I refuse to run any longer. I refuse to quit facing myself. I refuse to quit denying the person that I am. I want to bewho I am in this lifetime and I want to be it 100% and fully and completely and honestly. I don’t need to hide anything any more. There no point in hiding. Why are we trying to hide ourselves. Why are we trying to resist the way that we feel. What is so scary about just being who we are? And I’m over it. I’m over living in fear of who I am because there is no reason to. I want to live and be who I am. And I feel like a reason people run is because they are afraid of pain. They are afraid of rejection, they are afraid of being vulnerable. They are afraid of exposing themselves because they think that exposing themselves is somehow going to bite them in the ass or just cause them some sort of damage.
But pain is going to happen. You can’t avoid pain. With the pleasure of this life there is going to come pain. You can’t have good without the bad. So you’re going to have the beauty things in life and then you’re going to have to experience the things that hurt. And yeah you’re going to hurt. You’ve hurt in the past and guess what you’re going to hurt in the fucking future too. Doesn’t mean that you’re going to stop living. I think another thing is to learn how to hurt. Is to learn how to be in pain. To learn how to be compassionate with yourself and understand that you’re in pain and do what you need to accept it, to grieve it, and then ultimately let that shit go. Because you do not want to hold onto your pain. I’m sure, even with myself and anyone else who is listening. If you dare just look inside yourself and ask yourself “what pain am I harboring”. Bring it on. Let me see it. I want to know what pain I am harboring because I am curious because I don’t know. I don’t see it everyday but I know that it effects me and I want it to stop. So just being aware that there is pain there and guess what, shit is going to come back up. It did for me. I really just sat with myself for a little bit and said “Okay, I am ready to face the pain. I am ready to cry. Let me have the pain so that I can get rid of it. I am done caring that around.” And then of course pain came up from a while ago, pain came up from recently.. all this pain was coming up. And I cried. I cried through it. And then after the fact, It left like I can release it at that point. It’s not meant to be there forever baby. It’s not. It just take effort to see it and release it and let it go and then move the fuck on. Understanding your pain and learning from it is such a huge part of life. Its understanding yourself, its understanding the triggers that come up, and its understanding how you are and where you came from and where you’re going. And this is scary because it involves people going deep down in themselves, places they have never been i.e. parts of you that are unknown. Which is completely fine! It is 100% completely fine. Yeah… it’s a lot. Running away from yourself is running away from the parts of you that are unknown. Because once you face them and once you see them in the light and look at them as they are… they become less scary. And then they become known and then they can leave. It’s embracing the unknown that is within.
So I guess tying this together, there’s a lot. But I can say that I refuse to run anymore and more importantly I refuse to run from myself. I refuse to run from the unknown parts of me that I am sometimes afraid to face but you know what? The struggle is only making us strong. So the more you face those dark and hidden parts of you, the more you can face future parts with more confidence. So yeah I am definitely trying not to run but to run towards the unknown that is within me. Woo! I think I am done for today people! Peace out!
Released: October 18, 2016
Recorded: Oxnard, CA