People probably say I’ve ran away. That I can’t handle it. “He’s thrown away everything”. Maybe I have ran away. What’s wrong with running away? Why do we even say ‘running away’? I just want to be somewhere else. Somewhere that I can be myself without putting on an act of defiance. Not betraying myself.
Sitting on the deserted beach, looking out across the sea. No land for miles. Just the sound of birds and crickets. The sea lapping against the sand. The sounds of birds and crickets. Peace. I wish I could stay here forever. I don’t want to go back to the chaos, back to the bright lights.
Here I am anonymous. In the city I am anonymous too. In the city it isn’t your choice. It’s just how it is. People avoiding eye contact. Your neighbour is just another person. They don’t know your name. You don’t know theirs. The only communication an occasional nod.
On this island I am choosing to be anonymous. My choice. We don’t always have that choice. There in that big city, the city that is so loud and overbearing, so much noise yet so little substance. Millions of people, so much suspicion, so much resentment, so much pressure. Here there is none. Just me. And the birds and monkeys.
I remember the day so clearly. It was warm, the sky was blue. I sat outside on the balcony drinking coffee. Wondering what I would do with my day off. And then it came to me. A sudden fear. A fear that I can not describe with words. No matter how many times I have felt it, I still can not describe that feeling.
I didn’t want to be a part of this anymore. I don’t even know what I didn’t want to be a part of. I just didn’t want to be where I was. I didn’t want to be in this place. I didn’t want to be part of the bullshit. I didn’t want people telling me they were there for me. Words that’s all they were. No one was ever there for me.
I’d been thinking about it more and more. Just getting up one morning and going. No direction just getting up and leaving. Leaving all this bullshit behind me. Leaving all the people that were ‘there for me’. Those that said they would help me but never answered the phone. Those that were always ‘busy’.
Everyone seemed so consumed in themselves. They only wanted to talk about themselves. Or tell you their problems. They didn’t care for other people’s problems. I cared. By running does it mean that care isn’t unconditional?
So I did it. I got up and left. I told nobody. Really I had nobody to tell. Nobody to tell that would care anyway. I travelled across two continents. Enjoying every moment. Not worrying about who I was supposed to be or who people wanted me to be. No one knew me. Those I met just took me for who I was.
Now here I am. I am far from anywhere. Sitting on this island. There are only five people here. Just how I want it to be. I don’t have to put up a front. I don’t have to try and be someone I am not. I can feel what I want to feel. I don’t have to be strong. Or maybe I am ‘strong’. Back there, ‘strong’ is not displaying any emotion.
Maybe I am cynical, maybe I am just realistic. Here I am not lonely. I am not lonely because I have made the choice to be here. Back there I was lonely. I was lonely because I didn’t want to be. I had reached out but no one answered. At least here I am happy.
I met someone once in Thailand who had given up everything. He had had a good job, good money, a nice house. One day he just decided to get up and leave it all. He lived on a remote island, only coming off to do visa runs. He told me he had left because he didn’t feel he was himself back home, nobody really cared about his problems. At the time I too was cynical although as someone who grew up in a big city I can empathise with the anonymity and loneliness of cities. I wrote this to try and put myself in his place.