Today as I walked home from work - high speed, as I had to get to another job and I wanted to eat yogurt before that, so I had to be home first - I realized that I wasn't looking for escapes anymore. To frame that: as a kid, every new face, new person, new place, new location, new anything was a new opportunity to escape. Reading was an escape. School was an escape. My friends were an escape (whenever I could talk to them - I really wasn't allowed to have friends other than Jehovah). Sleep was an escape. When I went to assemblies, or new Kingdom Halls, it was a chance to maybe, perhaps, find someone who would help me escape (as the romantic ages kicked in, it was the idea that a boy could take me away from my parents...). I always sought escape from my life. It was the ulterior motive in every teen crush, love, etc. It was the ulterior motive for sleeping with the man I married and had kids for; it was the reason for the love affairs I had. It was the reason for so many temp jobs - all of it was an attempt to escape my life. As sad as it sounds, having kids was an attempt to escape - instead it locked me tighter to my parents and that damned religion. Falling in love was an escape. Then something happened and escape became not only possible, but probable. College started it, but meeting Aaron and his family solidified it. I could ESCAPE! Finishing college in York started on the rebuilding. Working and having to do for myself - and the fact that Aaron did expect me to handle my problems better than flaking the fuck out - created a new foundation. I made the choice and took the leap to move to Lancaster, with no funds, no idea what to expect, but into the oddly comforting arms of friends - like Thorne, who knew me back in my pathetic but wild days. Between her, Ray, Jackie, seeking work, learning more about myself was eye opening. Today I realized I was looking at people like people - either abstractedly or ignoring altogether, but they are/were people - instead as an escape. Today I realized I read much more for my own enjoyment and pleasure and less for escapism. Today I realized I loved my family, but I am happy at a distance away from them. I have my problems - there are many and strike at the core of my identity as a mother (but that's not my only identity) - but I am content with myself. I am and I like who I am. I am surrounded by people I could choose to be around, instead of people forced on me for whatever reason. I have the freedom to choose - to be - to relax. I can love without guilt, share without pain. I can withdraw if I want and my friends understand instead of preach to me. I'm no longer seeking an escape, or someone to rescue me. I am home. I like me.