It feels like it will make a difference, that long awaited trip. That exciting new job that will keep you very busy, make you very rich. That pioneering new plant medicine. That distracting pleasure.
“Thus does each man flee himself,” Seneca says, quoting Lucretius, in his criticism of those Romans who sought out every opportunity to indulge their wanderlust. We like to think we can get away from our problems, that it will be different there, that a change of scenery will change us.
But does it? Not usually. And then when we get back?
“You’re always where you leave yourself,” the National sing in one of their songs. Wherever you go there you are. At the end of the day, you go home alone, you go home to yourself.
We can still travel. We can still try new things. We can still take the job. We just have to be realistic.
It’s not going to fix us. It’s not going to solve our problems for us. Because it’s impossible to actually flee yourself. You are always going to be there, your issues right where you left them.