I recently read a quote; I think it was from comedian George Carlin, who said that “you spend the first half of your life running away from home, and the second half trying to get back there”. I couldn’t agree more.
It is typical that during adolescence, we try to figure who we are and how we are different from our parents. This often involves questioning our parents and the values with which they have raised us. I know that in my own life, I went through this and made some foolish decisions along the way. Even today, slightly more than a year away from turning 40, I can’t help but feel regret and embarrassment at some of the things I did as a teenager. During the last 20 years, having figured out who I am, at least to some degree, I have come back to many of the values with which I was raised.
My favorite type of course for races is the “out and back”. These races, as the name implies, involve running the first half of the race away from the finishing area, while running back towards it for the second half. These courses feel like what I am describing above. During the first half, I have to figure things out for myself, not having seen the course before. During the second half, I retrace my steps, this time armed with the knowledge that I have run these steps before, and knowing that each step brings me closer to getting back to where I want to be.
These days, I find myself wondering what in fact I am running towards. With the passing of my mom, almost 7 weeks ago, I no longer have parents, to whom I can return. Soon, the house in which I grew up, will no longer be owned by my family. The destination to which I wish to return will not be there, at least in the way that I wish it to be. The only comfort I can find in all of this is the realization that there is still something to which I can still return. Perhaps, I have not been running towards a particular location the whole time or even towards my parents per se. Perhaps the values with which they raised me, is the place I need to get back to. I hope in that way I can still return home.
PLEASE donate in my mom’s memory to help children with cancer: