1.2 The Running Away That Never Happened

I learned to question my life and not fall back on accepting what it was, to seek something better, something that had a sense of purpose in it.

I learned to seek something that had a sense of purpose. I did not like my life very much, I don’t know why. There was this feeling inside that nothing was right and that I was not good enough. My life was good, in many ways. I was comfortable at home and my parents allowed me to do much of what I liked. The problem was that I didn’t know what I liked. I did not feel able to make the decisions on what to do and where to go. It felt like I was missing some essential piece of knowledge. So I looked for it by running away.

After looking, last week, at my physical imperfection, I can turn to the mental imperfections that plagued me for years. The knowledge that there was something wrong with my body, percolated through to my mind. It told me that the imperfection was written through me like the name in a piece of rock. I related so little to other boys of my age that I had no reference for what was happening to me. Everyone in our house was busy, no-one had time for me. Dad was at work most of the time and when he came home he was tired, so mum kept us away from him. Mum was out doing things or busy with the food and the house, or she was looking after dad. My two brothers had there own ‘stuff’ to do and their own issues to deal with. As I was the third of three boys everyone assumed I would know how to live. Unfortunately I did not come blessed with that knowledge.

On My Own

I became used to playing on my own, but I don’t even remember what I used to play at, time just disappeared—on my own. Riding my bike, or bikes, as it became, building and re-building my bikes filled the empty moments, not that I was good at it, I improvised most of the time. I rode the bikes to bits, beating along rough paths and crashing through the local brooks. This obsession didn’t go anywhere, it was something to do.

I actually ran away, once. It was only down the road but it seemed to fill a deep seated need in me. I couldn’t even do that in a serious way. The things I remember packing into my rucksack were a packet of sugar and some Monopoly money. I know… that seems weird… and thinking back it was weird. Off I went down the road, to find a new freedom, I suppose. What happened? I have no idea. I have this memory of it happening and nothing more. But I didn’t get far, and I suspect that was more out of fear than inadequacy.

I would hide in my room, agonising about what to do. I never got anywhere with it and never understood what I wanted. This was when I started seeking… seeking something. In a recent article I said,

In my life I have been a seeker. As a teenager I sought a spiritual answer to an unknown question. I tried to understand where to look for the answer. What did I want? Why was I even looking? In the different approaches I tried, from Christianity to Yoga, I found many ideas to pursue, but no solutions.

For me looking back, I find this interesting. I knew I was looking for answers, but I had not discovered yet what the questions were. There were questions about my life, “why I was here?”, “what I was doing?” But I could not formulate them. As I said in the first section of this story,