I know someone who says that running is her escape. But for me, it’s not that either. Running is a time to think and a time to contemplate. I use it as a time to make decisions. It’s a time to figure out a plan of action, and work out what I need to do and how and when I’m going to do it all.
Reading and writing help. My blog is a chance to express myself in a safe environment. But is it an escape? Not really. I’m frequently blogging whilst doing other things. Like right now, I’m babysitting and have a nine year old jumping on and off me. I’m watching Tom and Jerry, and I’m hearing the latest story about playground crushes.
Girlguiding is helping. Volunteering allows me to be free, and to concentrate on my making sure that my Rainbows spend an hour a week with me which makes them smile. That they make friends, learn new things, and grow and develop into strong and independent young people; ready to find that pot of gold at the end of the rainbow and leap over to their big sisters in Brownies.
But the only thing that really allows me to let go? The one thing that means I can escape for a little while? It means that I don’t have to worry about when I last washed my hands, or what I’ve touched since. I don’t have to think about school work, exams or stress. Worrying about my best friend, and what she ate, and how she’s feeling? Nope, I don’t have to.
And I don’t have to listen to anything, I don’t have to pay attention to what is being said. Because I’m concentrating on the music and I’m escaping to another world. A world that is free and safe. A place that I don’t ever need to worry or be afraid. It’s just me and the music. My flute teacher is playing the piano or watching in the corner. She could even be giving me advice, or playing along. But it doesn’t matter because I’m alone now. I’m breathing properly, and I’m just reading the notes, working out the rhythm, and playing them. The music is coming out, and so are all my feelings. It’s the only time I’m free. And I’m happy.
Escape is important. It reminds us that we’re all human and we all need to take time out. It reminds us the importance of smiling. And every week I leave that flute lesson and I feel refreshed and ready to face the world.
So to my flute teacher I say thank you. Thank you for allowing me to merit my grade seven and for giving me confidence. Thank you for asking questions, for knowing when to just stay silent and let me play. Most importantly, thank you for teaching me to escape.
Living. Laughing. Loving.