It's not as if my life isn't a good one. I have a lot to be thankful for. But sometimes, you know how it is. You think, hey, wouldn't it be cool if I just, like, ran away from everything I know?
I was recently visiting with my Dad in Florida and he is currently WAY into watching TED Talks on the Roku I got him last Christmas. While I was there he watched Dan Gilbert's talk on the science of happiness, which I'm not going to re-hash too much here since you can just watch it below, but suffice to say that Gilbert basically makes the case that we all have within us the capacity to synthesize our own happiness, and that the happiness we create and embrace with the life we currently have is no less real than happiness that we believe comes from outside ourselves, when things go well without our direct intervention.
I agree with this idea wholeheartedly -- as a perpetual optimist I am often (probably annoyingly) assuring friends and loved ones that happiness is possible in life, because as somebody once said, and a bunch of people have since repeated, happiness isn't getting what you want, it's appreciating what you have.
Still, sometimes that's easier said than done. And sometimes, when we're stressed or frustrated or just plain avoidant (or our inbox has literally THREE THOUSAND UNREAD MESSAGES in it), it's a relief to imagine just chucking it all and starting over, somewhere new.
Kinda like how, when I was a miserable socially-ostacized seventh-grader, I used to fantasize about some circumstance causing me to switch schools to a new place, a place where nobody knew I was an easily bullied nerd, and where I could reinvent myself as a cooler person.
My escapism daydreams often involve me running away to live in one of the attractions at Disney World. Possibly Spaceship Earth at Epcot. OK, DEFINITELY Spaceship Earth at Epcot. Those fantasies only work between November and February, though, as no power in the universe would get me to Orlando during any season other than what passes for winter in central Florida.
In a more general sense, I daydream about running away to Los Angeles and maybe living at the Getty museum. NO. I mean living in a little house. On which the sun shines, most of the time. And I spend a lot of time hanging out under that sun, and also reading stuff and writing stuff and going on long aimless drives on Mulholland or into the mountains or whatever. And going to the Huntington Library! And the Museum of Jurassic Technology! Oh my gosh I love that city so much.
I KNOW, it's silly and a little embarrassing, and I also know that if I actually lived there, the shine would wear off quickly, but this is what I think about. I'm SHARING because I want to know if any of you have similar super-avoidant life-chucking fantasies sometimes. I know, truly, that happiness is not to be found by chasing, but by standing still and feeling the moment. Nevertheless, I doubt I'm the only one who gives in to this impulse sometimes.
Guys? Please tell me your running-away-from-home fantasies. It'll just be between you and me. And like, lots of commenters.