People say i run away, people say i'm running now. However, the only time i officially determined to “run away” from home was when i was in grade school.. i'm not sure exactly which year, maybe third or fourth at the latest, because we still lived in the Anaheim condo when i did it, and we moved from there before i was in fifth. i remember i had a small pink suitcase and i packed it with Pepsi and Hostess ding-dongs.. my dad saw me and asked what i was doing (i wasn't allowed to drink soda usually and was never allowed to help myself to either it or the ding-dongs without explicit permission), so i informed him that i was “running away.” He didn't say anything, and i left. i walked up the street to a nearby neighbors house and proceeded to eat my stolen goods with my friend. A few hours later their phone rang, and a few minutes later my friend's mom came in the room telling me that my dad just called and said it was time to come home. Without a moments hesitation i picked up my, probably then empty, suitcase and ran back home as fast as my legs could carry me, crying with relief. My dad was awesome, to put it mildly, and he had an intuition about how to handle different situations.. sometimes he was tough, i had definitely been spanked, and sometimes he was sensitive and quiet. In this instance he was quiet, no anger, no lecture, i just walked in and he hugged me, and i think he said something about being glad i was home. i was so wracked with guilt over what i'd done and remember being in such awe that he wasn't mad at me.. he had no condemnation for me, only mercy. i knew on some deeper level, without an external punishment that i never wanted to do that again.
This particular event stands out so vividly in my mind because it was the first time i remember feeling what i now know was conviction of the Spirit, my conscience smote me severely, i knew what i was doing was wrong. But i kept going.. moving against the tide of regret and remorse already beginning to wash over me. As i walked up the street i wasn't relishing in my new “freedom”, in fact it didn't feel ANYTHING like i expected it to, i felt guilty and ashamed. In theory it had been a thrill, in reality it was horrible; tears sprung to my eyes, and my stomach clenched up in knots and began this dull ache that stayed with me the rest of the afternoon. i ate them, but couldn't really enjoy the treats i'd brought with me because i felt too bad.
i don't even really remember why i did it that day, nothing happened to instigate it; i had a happy home and loving parents and a fun, stable family that laughed a lot. i had absolutely no reason to do it. i think maybe i'd just heard or read about other kids running away and for some reason the idea sounded exciting or appealing for whatever reason. i had the kind of parents that made you eat dinner with the family, made you go to bed early (like 8pm -growl-) and were really strict about things like TV and junk-food; and i think freedom to corrupt my body and mind at will (though i obviously didn't realize THAT was what the restricted stuff was all about at the time) was likely the prime motivator.
Thankfully i realized within minutes that i belonged at home. Unlike then, now i have more comprehension (like a tiny glimmer) of what -terrorized, dangerous, degrading sad- :''(( life is actually like for runaways on the streets (Yah bless them), and i still stand in awe at the unearned and undeserved and largely unappreciated childhood i had. i find myself very grateful for my mom and dad, and the grace of Yah.