On Running

No, I didn’t mean the physical act of running. I am not qualified to comment about that. Kumar is the family expert to comment about running, “runner’s high”, marathoning etc. The only thing I have done is watch running from the sidelines ( Chasing Marathoner Kumar – 3M Half Marathon in Austin, Chasing Marathoner Kumar – Primos Run in San Ramon).

This post is about my thoughts on emotional running.

If I ran away, I’d never have the strength
To go very far
How would they hear the beating of my heart
Will it grow cold
The secret that I hide, will I grow old
How will they hear
When will they learn
How will they know
– Madonna’s Live to Tell Ballad

We all come into this world alone. And, we all will leave, one by one, alone.

I know. This post is not one of my usual light-hearted witty posts. It is dark, deep and intense. So, brace yourself.

When I was a little girl, I read a book (I forget the title) that spoke about how each of our life path is a lonely path. The book led me to several questions. Why would our life path be a lonely one? Are we not surrounded by friends and family? Don’t they cheer us on during the bright days and pick us up and carry us through on the dark days? I wondered about these things. But, let the questions pass. Because, I knew that the answers would eventually come to me.

One of my friends tells me that as we grow up, we put up shields around us. She describes it so aptly with such great examples. Remember your kindergarten friends? When you had to part from them in the summer after kindergarten ended, your heart might have ached as you said goodbye. You might have even wailed as you parents picked you up and took you home. The same might have happened when you had to say goodbye to high school friends. You might have cried and hugged. Now, fast forward to the days of saying good bye to your undergraduate buddies. How did that feel? By then, was your heart a bit stronger? Did you believe that you’ll meet your friends again….sooner or later.

As we progress through life, my friend says, we quit making “deep” friendships…because, our brain is trained to learn that eventually, we’ll have to say goodbye. So, in order to protect ourselves from pain we build walls. We shield ourselves. We become broken souls. Deep within the recess of our heart, we  tactfully mask all our painful experiences, both the big and small ones. Yet, haven’t we done the “Phoenix Rising” act over and over again?

Now, let us take a step back. None of the “What will I do with this friendship?” decision happens consciously. Like most things in life, we are in auto-pilot and our decision making in these situations are driven by our subconscious.

As much as I adore my buddy, I don’t quite agree with her. In fact, given my competitive nature, to prove her wrong, I have been doing exactly the opposite of what she said every life plays out like. I have tried to make a conscious effort to make “deep” friendships.

But, eventually, I realize my friend might be right. We all have to say goodbye. Sooner or later.

That brings me to the subject of this post – emotional running.

We all run. Subconciously. We run from things that we fear. We run from experiences. We run from people.

More often than not, life might throw a curve ball at you when you least expect it. You might encounter an experience that is so ethereal and so visceral that you feel the urge to put the damn shoes on and run for your life.

That is what I am doing this month. Taking a break. Running. Running away. Because, I need to get a hang of myself.

Whether you are running towards something or running away from something…it is alright. Do what you have to. It will all work out eventually.

And, as always, tell yourself “this too shall pass.”

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