When I was ten, my family moved 3,000 miles from Pennsylvania to Washington state.

When my mom told me that we were possibly moving to Seattle, I decided against telling anyone my family was leaving.

I had spent the last three years in a small school. I was friendless due to an unfortunate case of social-leprosy…until another girl caught my disease. She reluctantly befriended me– because she really had no other option. She had been a bully to me before– inviting the entire playground but myself to an activity. She was still sort of that way as my friend.

A few days before we moved, my friend was in the car with me and my mom said that it was sweet we could have some time together before my family left. My friend was confused. Then, I told her that, yes, I was actually moving… and not within the county, but 3,000 miles away. She got really quiet, and I don’t really remember her ever talking to me (at least by choice) again, even when my family visited hers several years later.

She didn’t actually know I was coming when I visited, but she didn’t know I was leaving either. So, I guess it was just Karma.

When I found out we were moving, I was really happy. I wanted a better life.

This friend was one of the two friends in my life I ever officially wanted to leave.

With her, I moved 3,000 miles away without telling her.

With the other, I was able to tell that person I wanted to leave, and gave plenty of closure room.

And, I think both took a lot of courage.

I think whether we move or not, we have the ability to create distance.

As a child, my concrete mind couldn’t really fathom a world outside of my situation. So, I used my family’s move to run away from my life. But, as an adult, I was able to move 3,000 miles away– in my mind, and through my life choices.

This second friend lives less than fifteen minutes away from me, but I couldn’t be farther away.

And sometimes we need to do that– to run from the poison apples in our life. There are some fights you can only win by losing– by walking away.

And as I grow older, I know this as a truth more and more. Success isn’t about having the last word or winning the fight, it’s about being happy.

I hope you have the courage to walk away from what  or who you need to. There is happiness on the other side.

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