We all have an escapist fantasy. Our wish to get away, to soothe our soul, to just for once think only of ourselves on those days when the rest of the world has forgotten to recognize and appreciate our personal greatness. It may be a day when months of work towards a particular goal are kicked aside by a higher up, who on a whim decides to take things in a new direction. It could be a day when everything seems to be coming up roses and then you get home to find a cold, cruel message informing you that your husband, wife, significant other has decided they need space or have found someone else. Or perhaps you’ve had that stressful day at work, it’s finally the end of a Friday and you’re looking forward to returning to your oasis at home and being embraced by the love of your family only to be greeted by screaming, yelling, and arguing. Life is sometimes imperfect and sometimes we all accept the invitation to the personal pity party and think to ourselves, “What if I just dropped it all and walked away?” Here’s how my escapist fantasy goes:
It’s been one of those days, weeks or even a month when the world has forgotten their obligation to fall fawning at my feet. I’ve had it. Fortunately for me there are two things happening that will allow me to finally just take care of myself, to have no demands on me more complicated than what to have for lunch. I just had my quarterly bonus from work direct deposited in conjunction with my regular paycheck. I have more money at my disposal at this moment than I’ve ever had. Tomorrow I have to travel to somewhere perpetually warm and sunny for a work function. I close out the bank account. It may not be a fortune, but it’s more money than I’ve ever seen in my hands. This should take care of me for a couple months if I’m smart about it.
I get on the plane as scheduled and step off far away from my stress. I still stay in the hotel provided by work and attend all my meetings for the week. Why not? The hotel and my meals are paid for. Then comes Friday. The week of work meetings is done. Now it’s time. I pack my suitcase and tell my roommate I’ll see him down at breakfast. After breakfast I gather my suitcase, all the clothes I may own for a while, and instead of boarding the shuttle to the airport I walk past without a word or look in anyone’s direction, and I keep walking until my feet find sand and my ears are filled with the sound of waves crashing upon the shore. I set my suitcase and my ass down upon the sun kissed beach. I slip off my black dress shoes and socks, setting aside the symbol of the life I’ve just left behind. “Even my toes wanted freedom from their workaday bondage,” I think to myself as I dig my feet into the warm sand. I imagine that I can find a room to stay in above a beachside restaurant where I will work as a bartender pouring drinks and dispensing wisdom in exchange for my room and food. No paycheck, no social security number needed. Aside from that my time is spent enjoying the story of each person I meet as I soak in the sun, the sound of the waves and caw of the seagulls forever my soundtrack.
So what’s your escapist fantasy? Where do you daydream of when it feels like the world is playing kick the can with your life?
P.S. If I don’t post again for a while, you’ll know why. “Wastin’ away again in Margaritaville…”