Give Up the Need to Impress Others

(my take on the eighth part of 15 Things You Should Give Up to Be Happy)

I sometimes drop place names like other folks drop celebrity names.  I don’t know many famous people, but I have been a lot of places – to date, 48 out of 50 states, missing NM and HI, and all the Canadian provinces – and lived in 11 plus a US territory, sometimes more than once.  Impressed?  You needn’t be.

“Geographic cure” is a term often heard around recovery circles.  Geographic cure is all about the mindset that if I could just get out of this place, away from the old neighborhood and bars and dealers, I could kick this addiction.  And there always seems to be a helpful extended family member to encourage that thinking.  I hear some variation on this theme probably every week. If it worked, it would be great. We’d all be doing it.  The thing is it generally doesn’t.  Every where I go, there I am.  No place is far enough, not even the Alaskan bush.  If you have the money (or walrus ivory), I don’t think you’d have much trouble finding narcotics in the North Slope.

The geographic cure is not just about addiction.  I finally figured out that my wanderlust, which started about 16 when I first left home, was about something else than curiosity.  It was about wishful thinking, hoping that somewhere else in this world, I’d find a mirror to look in and recognize the person looking back, the girl I knew I was.

When you know the whole story, it sounds a lot less impressive than I can make it out to be.  Human, understandable…but not very impressive.  I suspect that’s true of a lot of our collective need to impress each other.  If we tell the whole story, we won’t be all that impressive.  So we leave out the “boring” parts.

Don’t know about you, but I don’t like feeling like the dog chasing his tail.

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