‘One day we’ll live by the sea.’ you said. I laughed but your expression was serious as you carried on explaining. You liked these ideas; you used to come out with them every now and again. Sometimes I believed you liked the idea of them more than actually achieving them.
‘We’ll have our own house overlooking the water,’ you smiled. ‘We’ll wake up every morning to the sound of it crashing against the rocks and hear the seagulls in the air.’ I knew the reason behind your love of the sea – you thought it was therapeutic; you loved the idea that no matter how bad things get you could escape, swim far away if you only wished. Of course I doubt you would run away, no matter how bad things got, but knowing that you could was the comfort you relished.
Me, I’m pretty grounded. I like seeing things and experiencing things. Sure, it’s good to know you can get away from things for a while. But running away from your problems isn’t going to solve them. In fact, that generally makes it worse.
I did try to explain this to you once but you grew quite upset. I think once the means to run away is there, it is rooted in your mind and it never really leaves. It is there for you to visit when you like, or to seize with both hands if you wish. The trouble is when you realise how easy it is to escape, you start considering it. Then it becomes all you can think about, until you think and think about whether there is anything keeping you here at all. It stops you looking at the big picture, stops you thinking ‘I could, but I have reason not to.’
Instead it becomes a temptation that holds fast in your brain and consumes your every thought until you feel as if you must act on it. Before I know it, you’re gone. Gone to be one with the sea, I imagine. For countless tides can give you more than any human can; they can give you freedom when you need it and the means to escape. Some things aren’t worth escaping from; sometimes when you run away you realise too late you end up running in circles – but I guess you’ll learn that in time.