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An Intentional Escape

written by yarby March 3, 2015

The experience of intent took me on the road, the power of friends and influence forever changed me.

Three months ago, I decided it was time for an escape. An escape from the the safe, the ordinary, the turmoil, the fear, the pain, and pieces of life that were just overwhelming me and taking control of my very being.

So I moved out of my swanky little apartment in Uptown Charlotte.

I left that place to go nowhere in particular.

I called up a few friends, told them what I was doing and few immediately responded with a resounding “yes, come stay at my place.” So that was the only plan. Go somewhere where I knew someone I could stay with.

My first leg of the trip took me to Georgia, to stay with one of my longest standing friends, Nate May. A guy with whom I could fill this blog with a multitude of stories. Of which include the most unexplainable 10 day business trip to Australia where we only worked 3 of those days. The other days were filled with experiences that we want get into here, since this isn’t about that trip.

As I was driving down 85 South, what I was embarking upon began to build up inside of me. The emotions of “what the hell am I doing?” and “This will be great” to “What’s next” began to give up their position in my heart, my mind, my thoughts. Rather than letting the fear of the unknown take over, I instead focused on the “Why.”

Why the hell am I escaping my reality? If you know me, you know the last year or so hasn’t exactly been a fairy tale. I needed an escape, and because of what I do for a living, I was fortunate enough to be able to do pack my apartment, my bags, and set out on a journey of the unknown.

So with my Honda Accord filled with a suitcase, duffle bag, multiple backpacks, and boxes, I was traveling south through it’s wet and mostly darkened highways, asking myself the “why am I doing this” question. To answer your question, no, I did not think about this as I was packing up all my stuff in my apartment. I had the idea to go, so I decided it was time. I would question myself later.

As I was somewhere in the dark abyss that happens somewhere past Greenville, SC it hit me. This is intentional. So make it intentional. Like a jack-in-the-box in the night, that word, “intentional” sprang out in the night, and I was finally able to see it’s silly head, and the stop the confusing music and make sense of what I was reeling at on the inside. I was making an intentional escape.

I would be intentional with everything, corralling my time. Starting with the people I would visit in Georgia, the way I would spend my time, the conversations I would have, the books I would read, intentional with my health and fitness, but most importantly, I was hauntingly focused on my personal development, growth, and recovery. This was about me. And I had to be intentional about it all. There was no way I was returning to Charlotte until I felt the full intention of this escape fulfilled and a new space of me discovered.

Forcing yourself into an experience will lead you to discover an entirely new aspect of your life, if you give it intention and exploration.

I met with some old friends and new, like Caleb, who lives his life with such honest, raw, and joyful emotion and passion that it was impossible to only spend one coffee with him. Listening to him talk from a place where he was clearly living life with intention and for others was beyond inspiring. Talking with old friends like Nate and John brought with it clarity about a lot of life that had becoming confusing. They’ve been my friends since I got out of college and we’ve been there for one another on countless occasions. We listen when these kind of friends speak. My friend Ahndea talked me off numerous ledges and brought insight and influence that I would not have found without spending countless hours living in her and husband’s basement. There were others that I was able to weave into my time in Georgia, but those are the characters you meet for now.

When I knew the time in Georgia was complete, I made plans for the next stop. After a couple of other feral escapes sprinkled in to San Diego and Asheville, the next stop was Durham.

Durham. Neither you nor I have the time to adequately discuss Durham. It was one of those experiences that will forever change the way I live, the way I love, how I walk in and out of my days, who I give myself to, where I will find my peace, what I allow to consume me. Let’s just say Durham ripped the fabric of my being that I once tore and tried to repair myself but failed miserably. It ripped that fabric, allowing me to see what I had closed off due to ill-repair. This intentional escape took me to visit one of my best friends, Tim.

No one I know is more genuine, honest, compassionate, patient, accepting (just to name a few qualities), than my friend Tim. What I thought was time that I wanted to spend with a friend, was more about time that I needed to spend with someone such as Tim. Someone who would literally, at times, push me in the direction I needed to go. Not to mention the fact that Durham has some of the best food, donut and coffee shops, and a just general fantastic downtown.

This can sound a bit like I was in rehab, that’s not necessarily what it was. But it was a forced experience, in which I was wanting to walk away different than I entered. I wanted to test the power of intention and have multiple experiences I could explore. After all, that is what I try to create here with The Wild Letters. It was time to quit preaching and get to living. So I did. So now, I’m including you, unabashedly, because I now understand the power of intention. The strength in exploring your experience. I want the same for everyone. Whether you are going through a tumultuous time or simply looking to tell better stories. Intentional experiences are out there to make your own. It doesn’t have to involve three months on the road, it could be anywhere, anyone, anything, take the time to explore your experiences. Be intentional.

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Matt Singley March 4, 2015 at 16:45

This is a great story, even though I can tell that it barely scratches the surface of what you experienced. I’m glad you shared, it’s a good nudge for me. Thanks, Yarby.

yarby March 4, 2015 at 17:56

You’re right, Matt, barely scratched the surface. The entire experience will more than likely bleed into my writings here for quite some time. I hope it is a good nudge, and I hope I get to read something from you soon!


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