It would be great to get away.
It would be perfect to take a few days, put some distance between here and me, and just be myself.
A fresh start.
A lungful of potential.
You know what's been holding me back? This city. This group of people who think I'm one thing when I'm sure I'm another. You know what's so suffocating? This history, these old patterns of being that we've fallen into, this culture that refuses to change.
I'm sure if I just had enough time, or if I had control over some variables, I could make this work.
I've had glimpses of it before. In certain moments of the afternoon I've felt the winds of change, I've sensed my true aptitude.
I saw it for an instant, as if rounding a corner and disappearing from my view. Like remembering a dream, or a memory I'm yet to form.
One day this set will be taken down, these props will be packed away and things will be as I have always suspected.
I have felt most alive in the secondary things, it's the echoes that sound sweetest to me. I will bring my values out of storage, I will be honest with my desires. I just need more of this clarity, more of these moments when I am at the helm of my destiny.
The future is bright, the open road unfurls before me.
But there is a stowaway.
I feel its presence here, some dark, uninvited guest that follows me. A shadow that sticks to me, refuses to separate itself from my skin.
As I unpack these dormant wants and plans, there is something else in here. Something I did not bring or want to have.
I have walked for days, I have made a new start, but something here is stale, resisting my plans to be free.
And here's the twist.
However far you run, or whatever time you take, there is an enemy in your ribcage, seeking your destruction. The darkness of the human heart is what resists you, rails against you.
"The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure."
For all the potential good of travel and fresh starts, there is a problem you can never leave behind. It's a sickness in your skin, it's in your blood, it's you.
There are problems 'out there' to be sure, but you don't just need time or space to fix this. Because everywhere you go you bring the problem with you.
These new things distract you from the symptoms, delay the resurfacing of frustrations, but you're like a dog trying outrun your tail. You are a tree trying to grow away from its roots. All the while resisting the fact that what you really need is a heart transplant from the Living God.
Sam Manchester is currently a theology student with an inescapable sociology degree behind him. In an attempt to reconcile the two, he reflects and writes about their coalescence in everyday life.
Sam's archive of articles may be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/sam-manchester.html