So why do I want to escape, anyway?

I’m 21 years old and can barely navigate the streets of my own borough without some guidance. I don’t understand how public transportation works in this country but anytime I ask my parents or anyone else for that matter, they just give me an incredulous look and a complicated though poorly detailed explanation of how it all works. I’ve resorted to searching online for information, but again, there’s nothing suitable for my inexperienced mind. Of course the assumption probably is that there aren’t stupid people like me out there who don’t even know how to take a taxi or a bus so why make a site outlining how these things are done?

As you can probably tell, I’m pretty sheltered. My parents have handled or at least assisted me in handling all of my shit since I was a very little girl. I forced myself to start taking responsibility for my life when I was about 16 though and have faced a lot of tough situations alone even though my parents offered to stick by me through it all and I’ve strictly handled all of my university issues from the day I started (which is pretty normal for most people, I know, but it was a big step for me). But when it comes to going places, I’ve never had to depend on public transportation. My father has always driven me to any place that I’ve needed to go. Note the word “needed”. If I want to go somewhere, there’s a 90% chance that my desires will be ignored. With these odds in mind, I simply don’t ask anymore. Also, it should be noted that I can’t drive, although I’m halfway to finally getting my license. It’s really fucking frustrating knowing that each weekend I spend at home in my room, a world out there rushes on in all its glory with opportunities for adventure at every corner while I sit on my bed in front of my laptop.

I know I’m 21 and if I want to go out, I should damn well just go. But despite my frustration, I’m scared about what’s out there. Sheltering your kids from all apparent dangers is only a good idea up to a point. The world outside their protective bubble becomes an unknown creature to them, one who with time becomes gradually scarier anytime you insist that the world outside the bubble must not be explored without guidance. Because they are never forced to face the unknown, the myth is never disproved and lives on as a source of much fear. I’m scared of just getting dressed one day and taking a taxi to the mall and just walking around and checking out the stores. I’m scared of exploring alone. I’m afraid I’ll look stupid and that everyone will know that I’ve never been out alone when they see that look of cluelessness about me. Hell, I’m afraid of just taking the taxi. Now that I’ve outlined all my fears they don’t seem so very unconquerable to me. Still, it will be a while yet before I suddenly decide that I’ve had enough and march out into the unknown regardless of the obstacles that wait in store for me. At the moment, I feel myself brimming with frustration and the need to escape, but I’m still not at the “I’ve had enough!” stage. I can still satiate my needs with some angry writing. But there’ll surely come a point when writing or reading, or any of the other shit I do to make myself feel better, won’t help anymore. Hopefully it will be soon.

This is part of the reason why I want to do something extreme, why I just want to hop on a plane to the middle of nowhere and to explore and have drinks and nice discussions with the people that live there. I have some serious compensating to do for the experiences I missed while being protected from whateverthefuck is out there. But it’s not a good enough reason to want to travel alone. There are other ways I can fix myself and help myself develop into a person who, if placed in the middle of the capital city, can survive. Backpacking through South America and South Asia are still very much a part of my life’s “to do” list but I want to make sure that I do these things for the right reasons and not as an antidote for my fear. I don’t want to spend my time in these places conquering my fear. There are a hell of a lot of other things I want to do instead of that and not in addition to that since the conquering of fear is pretty much a full time objective. I have to fix my fear while I’m here.

I was just looking for an image to add to this post but instead found this nice quote,

The cave you fear to enter, holds the treasure you seek – Joseph Campbell

That’s something for me to keep in mind.


5 comments on “So why do I want to escape, anyway?

  1. I understand what you mean. My parents even went through the trouble to homeschool me, which kept me pretty sheltered. Now, I really have no desire to go out much. They let me drive a few times but I can’t get my license or go anywhere cause our car is about to break down again. xD They won’t let me go to college either, but oh well. Everything will work out for the both of us. ^^

  2. As weird as this may be to believe, I was in a similar situation. Love your parents and appreciate them for keeping your best interests at heart, but start exploring your own independence in small (safe) ways. Make decisions that aren’t so drastic but still thrilling. Find a way to have an ‘everyday adventure’. All journeys start as walks to somewhere different. And you don’t have to fly to South America to start finding your own wings. =)

    If I can help at all, let me know! Lots of love to you, my fellow nomadic soul.

    • Aw Hilary, thank you so much for your great advice which I will no doubt be heeding! I’ve actually been making plans to go on some expeditions outside of campus when school starts. There’s a shelter for socially displaced women in the vicinity of school (I think) that I want to volunteer at and I intend to get there myself. Why exploring the town my university is located in never occurred to me before, I will never know, but the point is that I’m going to start. I wasn’t so sure about carrying out my plan but now I’m definitely going to do it. And there are definitely opportunities for little adventures that I pass up on. I’m going to look out for them and grasp them with both hands from now on. Thanks for reminding me that the road to independence and freedom does begin with baby steps, every one of those little decisions counts, even the safe ones. Waiting until South America to start taking chances was actually kind of lazy on my part especially when there are so many opportunities to allow me to start right now, or in a month’s time. I guess that was what was bugging me when I wrote this. Thanks again for your encouragement, Hilary. It means a lot 🙂

  3. […] When I decided that I was definitely going to travel one day, I realized that I’d have to go through a number of changes. I could save the money and plan the itinerary but all that would just go to waste if I bailed out on myself at the last minute, something which I have a tendency of doing when the going gets tough and I know that I’m the only person depending on myself. Who cares if I let myself down? I did apparently. I was tired of letting myself down. I had a lot of issues to overcome which I ranted about over here. […]

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