Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Escape

Blogtober may have gone, but the posts live on. This is from a writing exercise I did last month out of a book that I have. You were supposed to start the story with the opening line they gave, which I think is horrible, but nevertheless...

Sometimes I feel just like a gerbil, running around and around on his wheel!

I go faster, it goes faster. I slow down, it slows down. I hop off for a nap, but then I wake up and get right back on. The world doesn't stop spinning just because I'm having a bad day or I don't want to go to work tomorrow.

Vacations and holidays help to ease the monotony of it all, providing a brief respite from the shampoo bottle regiment of sleep, work, eat, rinse, repeat. But when they end--and they always end--it's right back on the wheel.

I've thought a lot about New Orleans since our weekend there back in January. We had an absolute blast. The food, the night life, the culture, the architecture--it's a wonderful and unique city. But trips like that end up feeding my wanderlust and leave me jonesing to move some place like that permanently.

As long as I can remember, part of me has wondered what it would be like to just up and move somewhere far away. Quit my job and leave Alabama behind for the beach, or California. Or move to Nashville and live in my car until I find a job.

I suppose it's mostly nonsense, especially in this economy. And honestly, it feels a little embarrassing to even admit such a thing. But I know it can be done. I mean, people have done it, I've heard and read about them. Stories like that always make me smile. They provide a glimmer of hope, and also leave me more than a little bit envious. After all, isn't that really living life? Well, isn't it?

It's hard to know which dreams to chase and which are nothing more than nonsensical fantasies. Or perhaps it's just easier to toss them all into the latter category and be done with it.

Sometimes it's not enough simply to be alive. Sometimes you need to feel alive.

Maybe everybody has these thoughts. That deep-down yearning for something more. Maybe it's not unique to humans, either. Maybe that's why sometimes the gerbil hops off his wheel, chews his way out of the cage, and escapes.

"I'm always on the move but never gainin' ground. And the brightly painted ponies, they have feelings inside. Like me, do they ever want to get off of this ride?"

32 comments:

  1. Every day bone. Every damn day. I think of these things.

    Got on the elevator with a co-worker yesterday - and she said to me, "ever feel like just taking off somewhere and doing something different, just all of a sudden - just absolutely take off..?"

    Told her - every day friend. Every damn day. I think I'll go to Montana. Live among the mountains and wildnerness and drive an old beat up truck.. talk to the horses, feel the wind, wear boots and and a big heavy coat - and just be.

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  2. Me too. There was a time when I was seriously tempted to drive past THAT exit in the morning and just keep on going, wherever it led. I think it's actually the hardest thing in the world to be consistently content--with anything.

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  3. Oh Bone this blog hit me hard! I want to pick up and move. I don't know where; maybe NYC, maybe Portland, or maybe Austin. I just feel like OKC isn't where I need to be, but yet it does feel like where I need to be. I've been struggling with this for years. Am I scared, or am I suppose to be in OKC? Only God knows.

    "Vacations and holidays help to ease the monotony of it all, providing a brief respite from the shampoo bottle regiment of sleep, work, eat, rinse, repeat. But when they end--and they always end--it's right back on the wheel."
    OHHH so true.

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  4. I think that just about everyone has that...probably why my brother starts all these businesses and then turns around and sells them (but I think he's been making out like a bandit doing this, so not so bad for him)

    I would have thought that you would want to move up to one of our ski communities...live up in the mountains and when work is done go skiing in the winter and mountain biking in the summer. I guess the beach is a calmer atmosphere for you. ;o)

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  5. You’re young & single – so why not live dangerously and go for it!? Cali...here I come! :)

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  6. Office Space. Peter never really enjoys his life until he finally takes a chance and says "no." Although he had an advantage in that the fear that inhibits the rest of us and keeps us climbing into the hamster wheel each day was no longer present in him.

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  7. I think of all the posts you've ever written about life that we can relate to, this is the one that resonates the most.

    And I also believe that most of us never take that chance. That we're too worried about falling on our face - or maybe that's just me as I'm super uncoordinated - instead of landing on our feet.

    I have a friend who does this stuff. She wants to move to a foreign country without a job, she just does it. And she ALWAYS makes it work. She finds all kinds of jobs teaching English for cash and loves it. I don't know how she does it, but she does. And I've always been more than a little jealous of her ability to always go for it - and always succeed.

    Sometimes it's not enough simply to be alive. Sometimes you need to feel alive.

    What a great line, Bone. Fabulous.

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  8. Nice. I winced at the first line too, but you pulled it off really well. And, sadly, this is a post that far too many of us can relate too. I'm lucky at the moment. I quite like my job and working in a school is many things but it's never dull. But still, happy as I am there, what I wouldn't give to live on my own timetable and fill my days with living. I'd live somewhere beautiful and grow my own food, spend my days writing, walking, cooking... just living. How in the world did we manage to lose that?

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  9. Shelby - OK, good, so it's not just me. If you move to Montana, I'll move to the beach, deal?

    Actonbell - Some days, I wonder if we were really designed to be this regimented and confined.

    OKChick - Am I scared, or am I suppose to be in OKC?

    I think that's the question that's so hard to answer. Where is the line between being content with what you have and settling?

    Renee - Has he ever thought about a pizza place where you make your own pie?

    Well, I've never snow skied, only water skied. But I'd be willing to give it a shot. How far are you from Telluride?

    Small Town Girl - That made me smile, if only because you called me young :)

    Cap'n John - So it's an existential question, a choice if you will, of whether I will be like Peter or Milton. Of course, Milton did wind up on the beach.

    I should watch that movie again. Perhaps it will inspire me. And if not, it will at least make me laugh.

    TC - Yeah, judging from the comments thusfar, it seems to be a pretty common.

    Sometimes I think we all have that same ability to succeed and, as you say, "make it work." But something stops us from ever trying.

    Thanks :)

    J Adamthwaite - I'm glad it wasn't just me that cringed at the opening line :) But as bad as it was, I have to say that in the end it served its purpose.

    I firmly subscribe to the adage that happiness is a choice you make. And that works great, most days. But some days...

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  10. I think of these things everyday too. Once I wanted to take off and go live in the mountains. Build a cabin and live off the land. Of course that didn't happen but I did think of it for a brief moment. Hope all is well. Have a great day.

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  11. This made me think of you this morning in light of this post.

    Like you said, people do it all the time.

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  12. I can't believe what you did with that line
    Sometimes I feel just like a gerbil, running around and around on his wheel!
    All my life, except when I went to Cambridge for a weekend and came home two years later--but I was 23 then and got a college degree out of that move, I played it safe

    I know how exciting NY sounds and it is. But after 33 years the thrill wore off--actually somewhere around year 16 but I had family obligations and couldn't...

    Then last year I finally did it! I sometimes wonder if I should have gone further down the road to Charleston or some place sorta exotic, but life is good here and it's by the ocean and has everything NY lacked. I'm building a new life, stone by stone or mulch by mulch more likely and fashioning it the way I like
    Sometimes you have to take that chance. You have to in order to make your life totally yours

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  13. Uh great post about a gerbil named Bone!

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  14. adventure!
    I'm going to work my butt off and go see some sights in the coming year- I thought I would do it this year but it has been one heck of a year for me.
    Traveling is spontaneous for me, and I never turn down the opportunity but I'm have too many obligations to just move. If there were not obligations - i'd be like waldo- and everyone would be asking where I am. :)

    You seem like you could do it.

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  15. Beautiful and Pensive Bone is back in full effect! I agree with TC. It will resonate with everyone. Other than the Alabama reference, it was almost as if I wrote it (and why anyone would want to move from an area that has men with hot southern accents is beyond me).

    You've inspired me to step up the job hunt out of state. Thanks! I needed that!

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  16. why anyone would want to move from an area that has men with hot southern accents is beyond me

    Amen, sister!

    If you end up with a job out of state, Murf, you should get a place big enough to rent out to a certain Wisconsinite blogger. We can go ooh and aah over the accents while your husband does... well, whatever he does to avoid hearing that!

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  17. Michelle Johnson - I think that would suit you well :) You seem to have such a great appreciation for nature.

    TC - I really liked this statement from the article: "It is scary to leave your girlfriend, your career, your apartment and people you know to have a year of waking up in unfamiliar places."

    Well, I suppose that all depends on your girlfriend :)

    Pia - Yeah, I figured the thrill might wear off after 15 or 20 years :)

    "Make your life totally yours." I like that phrase. And yes, I foresee a big upturn in people naming their gerbils Bone.

    Daily Panic - You seem like you could do it.

    OK, I am now going to be pondering that statement for days :)

    Murf - You know it's weird, but guys with southern accents just never did it for me. I was always more of a women-with-British-accents kinda guy.

    You're very welcome. Bone: Inspiring people to look for jobs since 2009.

    TC - I don't know what I could possibly even say to this. You girls just feel free to continue talking amongst yourselves.

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  18. TC - It's a deal. Big A does a pretty decent Southern accent but it's more of the "backwoods...ain't seen a city in 25 years...wifebeater and hairy belly...Deliverance" kind of Southern accent. Pleasant but not the stuff that a Yankee girl dreams about. :-)

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  19. Well, I suppose that all depends on your girlfriend

    OK, this can go either way. Are you saying you've had a few it would be scary to leave behind because you'd have missed them so much OR you've had a few you were scared to leave for fear of what they'd do to you? :)

    Murf: Yeah, I got plenty of that kind of southern accent the summer I worked at Mammoth Cave. It's not the kind I go for. Sure, most days it's better than what we've got up here, but still...

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  20. I understand where you are coming from and I did it and got the t-shirt and now I stick with the vacations.

    It isn't all it is cracked up to be. CA is great if you have a lot of money otherwise you can't afford to do anything but stay home going to the beach just becomes another "daily" routine that you get tired of simply because you can do it everyday.

    We moved back to Texas 12 years ago and I really don't mind staying here until the end of my days.

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  21. Imagine what you could have done with a better book of start lines. ;)

    This was wonderful.

    By the way as someone who has lived in a lot of places, granted many of those places were as a child, I think it's all about perception.

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  22. I think you should make the big move. I'll move if you move???

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  23. It's hard to know which dreams to chase and which are nothing more than nonsensical fantasies. Or perhaps it's just easier to toss them all into the latter category and be done with it.

    This is an amazing paragraph because it's totally real

    Bone your writing continues to draw me back and back. I'm so proud I kind of discovered you

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  24. I'm always up for a cross-country move! As for the gerbil's wheel, that reminds me that my daughter's gerbil died Sunday night. I tried my best not to be happy as I always ended up doing most of the cleaning...

    "You were supposed to start the story with the opening line they gave, which I think is horrible, but nevertheless..."

    Now we know why you gave up 3WW :)

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  25. TC - Just an FYI...Sage has a lovely Southern accent.

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  26. So I met with my academic advisor two weeks ago and he gave me the news that I'll graduate in 2 years. My first thought:

    I have to stay in Athens for two more years?!

    I think the longing for change is alive in everyone. Responsibility has a way of suppressing that feeling...but it never dies.

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  27. Just do it. RVers and techo geek RVers do it all the time - among the others.

    Until you try it, you will remain unsettled. You know, Barnes and Noble once had a class on just that - determining what you really want and following your dream. It was based on some guy's book.

    Do you want to look back and say, "oops"? (OK, so you might still do that if you try it, but you can always "make lemonade" once you get there, so you won't have to say it then.)

    Lecture over. Now, run hug someone dear to you. I bet that is what is really holding you back. Certain hugs would be too far away.

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  28. Murf: I'm kind of disturbed by that for some reason.

    Maybe cuz he's married.

    And possibly (?) old enough to be my Dad?

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  29. TC - You would probably be really disturbed by that comment if you knew what I knew about Sage. ;-)

    Of those two choices though, I'm sure it's more the latter. Enjoying someone auditorily isn't bad because they are married...or maybe you and I enjoy them differently, you tiger, you. :-)

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  30. Murf: Nah, I think it was the age thing, too, but didn't want to say just that.

    Though I probably WOULD be disturbed to know all that you know about Sage.

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