It’s true – I recently ran away from home.  I don’t know if you are like me but there have been times in my life – usually stressful or overwhelming times – where I just want to bolt!  Sometimes for a day and sometimes I have this whole alternate fantasy life of living somewhere else…

August was an emotionally charged month – I got married, my son left for college – and a few other things were going on that I can’t really throw out into the blogosphere.

I didn’t think it would be easy to send my son off to college but I didn’t think it would hit me as hard as it did.  Again – I think it’s the whole combination of things happening that simply became too much.  There was little room in my head for creativity and I could (and did) cry at the drop of a dime.

My thoughts, once again, turned to escape. Maybe if I just had a change of scenery, I could reboot and get out of this tear-filled funk.  I thought of going to the coast but didn’t want to drive there and back right before or during a holiday weekend.  I decided to play with Priceline.  I thought – maybe I could just run away to Portland and play tourist…

I looked at some downtown hotel rates and didn’t really want to pay that much.  So I decided to try the ‘make an offer” – where you say what you will pay in a particular area, for a particular rated hotel and if one agrees, it’s yours – no changing your mind.  I thought, “Well, the universe (or Priceline) can decide if I’m meant to run away”.  They said the average price of a four star hotel was $190 so I offered $85… and guess what?

I ran away to Portland.

One thing I didn’t count on was the hotel charging $28 to park.  I didn’t really want to add that to my escape budget so I looked into alternative methods of transportation.  The bus stops 1/2 mile from my new house and is a straight shot to the middle of downtown – in only 38 minutes!  I’ve ridden MAX a lot – Portland’s light rail system – but never the bus.  I grabbed my $2.40 in exact change, my backpack and purse and walked out the door like a giddy child.  This made it that much more of an adventure!

It was a beautiful sunny day in the mid-70s as I headed into the city.  I checked into a very cool hotel (Portland DeLuxe), checked in and headed out on foot.  I wandered around the shops in Northwest with no real destination.  I had dinner.  I wandered back and read The Hunger Games from cover to cover.  I slept like a log.

Guess what?  I haven’t cried since.  I have creative ideas again.  I feel like a brand new person!

Sometimes you have to do something out of the ordinary to keep yourself and your creativity in balance.  I had the complete support and understanding of my new husband to do whatever I felt I needed to do to get back to my normal happy self.

I’m so glad I ran away… because now I’ve found my way back to myself. 

I highly recommend a change of scenery – even if it’s just a walk around the block – if you ever feel stuck – be it emotionally, creatively, or both.  And if you decide to run away over night – know that it’s been done before and done a world of good!

Now I have to stop typing and start creating!

Here’s to your creative success!

– Tara Reed