06 February, 2012

A Playlist–Running Away From Home

  • THE SMITHS | Asleep
  • BEIRUT | East Harlem
  • NOWHERE MAN | The Beatles
  • JASON MRAZ | Details in the Fabric (feat. James Morrison)
  • MR. LITTLE JEANS | The Suburbs (Arcade Fire Cover)
  • THE STROKES | I’ll Try Anything Once
  • THE BEATLES | Across the Universe
  • WILLIAM FITZSIMMONS | I Don’t Feel it Anymore
  • AEROPLANE | We Can’t Fly

For the longest time, ever since I was a child, I had always romanticized the idea of running away from home.  The idea of packing up your life (or, well, the things you treasure the most that will fit into a single suitcase, and finding yourself in the things you’ve bothered packing) and walking out on your responsibilities, the daunting ideals of your parents, escaping school, letting go of your acquaintances—it just seemed like a dreamy thing to do.

When I got sent e-mails with prayer chains with people asking for a certain family to be in their thoughts because their child ran away, I’d show them to my mom, and immediately, without second thought, she’d shake her head, click her tongue and say “Los niños piensan que lo saben todo,” which translates to “Kids think they know everything.”  And she’d leave with what I guess was a dignified feeling over her parenting skills.  In these situations, I’d try to be fair to the kids running away—I’d wonder why they did, where they went to, and, in a sickly way, fantasize about whether they left in the middle of the night or if they escaped through their bedroom door.  I’d worry for them, sure, because I wasn’t fully aware of their sanity or their intelligence, but I still sort of respected the bravery and self-determination they had clearly built up.  I wondered whether they had left for silly reasons, like running away with a boyfriend who was clearly no good, or if they had thought about what they were doing and left because they felt their parents and the place they were living in were not helping them find who they were themselves.

Whichever the case, I still fantasized and daydreamed scenarios of how I would run away, if I ever did.  I even created my own “Only For Running Away” backpack, which I still have in the back of my closet.  It was on top of my Clearly Impossible, but Obligatory Bucket list.

In this playlist, I sort of compiled different kind of songs that represented what I imagine would be the different stages of emotional feelings in the runaway.  I added songs that I thought represented the music playing in the background of the movie, if there was one.  Music for when the person is solemnly walking away from their home.  Music for when the person finally arrives in this glamorous, foreign place, and everything is possible all of a sudden.  Music for when the runaway falls in love with a stranger.  Music for feeling homesick.  Music for that “A-ha!” moment when the person finds themselves in art or music or a book they’ve read, or in a certain new activity they partake in.  And then the music that would roll around the end, almost by the credits, when this person is no longer a wanderer, but a dweller of the world, simply put, and is content with this never-ending quest to fall in love with the world.

And that was the end of my hyper-analysis of the act of running away.


  1. when I was a child I used to think about that too...because I saw that i movies or books and thought it was cool!! but the real question is: why did they escape???

  2. Really like your blog! - and this playlist ;)
    Hope you check mine out.

  3. I used to think about that too! I like the idea of packing my favorite things in a sack and going on an adventure! Lovely playlist!

  4. Interesting post & love the playlist you've put together! I remember having those "running away" moments when I was a kid. The only time I actually made any motion was to pack my backpack chock full of novels (oh so practical) & ''run away'' to my treehouse (which, living on quite a large acreage, was about 10 minutes away from my house) where I stayed until night approached & I was too afraid to stay out in the dark. It's never quite as glamourous as you imagine haha

    <3 Shawna

    1. Oh Shawna, but even that sounds so dreamy! Living on big land where you've got your own tree house way way way way away from your actual home with actual people, and to stay there with your books and things? Oh, man, I'm having a giddy little fit.

  5. I "like"d your playlist but I didn't wanna sign up for an account but I just wanted you to know that. Thank you for the music.

    Running away was never rly a 'want' for me. It was something I felt compelled to do b/c my home life was unstable but to tell you the truth I was always scared each time. My fear of the outside world overpowered my fear of my mother every time I tried to run away. Or maybe I was just smart enough not to. And things got better. My mom went through therapy and meds and then went back to work slowly but surely. And now I'm in university, far far away. Okay not too far. Things worked out, and I forgive her, and I know she loves me.



    1. Mimi, I appreciate this so much-- so much. Thank you. I left a more eloquent, articulated, non-dry comment on your blog about it.

  6. Great post! I have a feeling that a lot of people imagined running away at least once when they were younger. I always used to daydream about it. My childhood was pretty shit, so that's no suprise. I even packed my bag with my most important things and walked out of home with the intention of running away a few times, but I always stopped at the park near my house, sat on the swing and was too scared to go any further. I was smart enough to know, that at my age (8 - 12) what I was trying to achieve was basically impossible. Sigh, I'm 21 and I still haven't left home, one day soon though...

  7. great selection of music!


  8. I think I should listen to all of the songs you recommended. should actually start listening to different music genres!



Thank you, pal.