For the longest time, ever since I was a child, I had always romanticized the idea of running away from home. The idea of packing up your life (or, well, the things you treasure the most that will fit into a single suitcase, and finding yourself in the things you’ve bothered packing) and walking out on your responsibilities, the daunting ideals of your parents, escaping school, letting go of your acquaintances—it just seemed like a dreamy thing to do.
When I got sent e-mails with prayer chains with people asking for a certain family to be in their thoughts because their child ran away, I’d show them to my mom, and immediately, without second thought, she’d shake her head, click her tongue and say “Los niños piensan que lo saben todo,” which translates to “Kids think they know everything.” And she’d leave with what I guess was a dignified feeling over her parenting skills. In these situations, I’d try to be fair to the kids running away—I’d wonder why they did, where they went to, and, in a sickly way, fantasize about whether they left in the middle of the night or if they escaped through their bedroom door. I’d worry for them, sure, because I wasn’t fully aware of their sanity or their intelligence, but I still sort of respected the bravery and self-determination they had clearly built up. I wondered whether they had left for silly reasons, like running away with a boyfriend who was clearly no good, or if they had thought about what they were doing and left because they felt their parents and the place they were living in were not helping them find who they were themselves.
Whichever the case, I still fantasized and daydreamed scenarios of how I would run away, if I ever did. I even created my own “Only For Running Away” backpack, which I still have in the back of my closet. It was on top of my Clearly Impossible, but Obligatory Bucket list.
In this playlist, I sort of compiled different kind of songs that represented what I imagine would be the different stages of emotional feelings in the runaway. I added songs that I thought represented the music playing in the background of the movie, if there was one. Music for when the person is solemnly walking away from their home. Music for when the person finally arrives in this glamorous, foreign place, and everything is possible all of a sudden. Music for when the runaway falls in love with a stranger. Music for feeling homesick. Music for that “A-ha!” moment when the person finds themselves in art or music or a book they’ve read, or in a certain new activity they partake in. And then the music that would roll around the end, almost by the credits, when this person is no longer a wanderer, but a dweller of the world, simply put, and is content with this never-ending quest to fall in love with the world.
And that was the end of my hyper-analysis of the act of running away.