Reinventing yourself is a classic wish for the New Year but if you really want a “new you” then a new perspective is your introduction. Sometimes in life a step back is all you need to understand the big picture. Which is why I have mastered the art of running. And not the exercising type, the metaphorical type. I thrive on running away and I’m not ashamed to admit it. I’ve been influenced by the phrase, “Catch flights not feelings.” And I live my life by it because it has always led me to a better perspective.
I fell in love with travel after high school, where I became captivated with a new understanding of life. That all it took was a little money, some risk and a passport and you could be invincible. So I created the invincible theAmeliaBurns.
Upon graduation, I catapulted myself into Chicago where I was unprepared for adult life. It was a beautiful struggle of an experience but only the beginning of my addiction to “skipping town.” It didn’t work out as planned and I ran to Philadelphia; Where I had dreams of urban photography, minor modeling and unrealistic expectations for the kind of person I thought I was. My mother only fed this addiction by dragging me to France, Belgium and England before I had the chance to grip onto reality.
I returned to Philadelphia with a new understanding of who I was. My alter ego had officially been born and I was more aware of my personal power than I had ever been. From that day forward you couldn’t mess with the life of Amelia Burns without getting an incomparable reaction. I’ve figured out that getting what you want simply comes when you are willing to take big risks. I thrive on fear when it holds the potential for success. I’m willing to risk pain, over trusting, and failure because I know that there will always be a new place to run to. No matter how crushed you feel, the world is always a beautiful place; Even if you don’t feel beautiful.
For the first half of my sophomore year, I was always on the run. I thought I was running to love but really I was running away from something much more complex. I chased my military boyfriend up and down the east coast. High on the excitement of midnight flights, layovers and southern hospitality. Looking back, I probably should have realized that you shouldn’t be having more fun in the airport than the actual destination. But I was young, drunk on love & adventure, and I wasn’t giving that up anytime soon.
Fast forward six months, & my life had gotten exceptionally great. I was settled into Temple University and theAmeliaBurns wasn’t holding back. In just a few months, I had managed to land a dream internship, launch my blog, join a sorority, gain leadership positions and meet an intense amount of ambitious people. I was in love with myself and the idea that for the first time in my life, I was capable of anything and everybody new it.
The problem with not needing anybody but yourself means that some people will begin to feel unneeded. So I got dumped. And it was the best and worst thing that ever happened to me.
I was numb with a lack of expectations and a yearning to evolve. So I grabbed my best friend and headed to New York looking for a little ambition to accidentally come home with me. But it wasn’t enough and I began dedicating what little spirit I had left to convincing my mom that Jamaica was the place our family needed to be.
Bless my spontaneous mother because 2 weeks later, I was on a plane to Jamaica. Which is where I ate, drank and tanned my numbness away. Don’t ever let people make you feel bad for taking care of yourself. Some times a martini and a donut is really all it takes to feel just enough better.
So I had a few and I started refining the little bit of theameliaburns that I had left. In less than a few weeks, I had completely reorganized my life and shipped myself to Chicago for 3 months. It was wild and beautifully selfish. I cared for very little other than my own happiness. It was the best summer of my life and all because I got dumped. Funny how life works out, isn’t it?
When I returned from Chicago, my life was a little broken considering that’s just how I had left it. So it didn’t take long before I had a whole old mess of problems that needed to be addressed. And while I was fixing those, my mom was planning a spontaneous fall trip to Italy. Was it healthy of me to pause my life like that… probably not. But the best slice of pizza in the world probably wasn’t going to make things any worse.
I returned from Italy purified from my travels and began focused on taking life by each moment. Which I did for a little while. Then the election happened and I became invested in a sense of security that I felt I had lost. Whenever we are searching for something, we always believe it must be a person but it never is.
So by now you’re probably wondering what the point of this mini autobiography is. Well, the only point I have is that I am unbelievably aware that I don’t handle things in the way that most people do. And at this particular moment in my life, I am exhausted by the need to try to explain myself. I do the things that I do because I’m trying to explain myself to myself.
Which is why I’m on the run, boarding a flight where I can hopefully spend a week and a half thinking about what kind of resolutions I need to be making in my life. And believe me, there is a need for many resolutions. I think this new year is going to be one for the books because for the first time in my life, I’m not afraid of loosing anything.
Whispers and side comments used to weigh heavy on me but suddenly they seem to be the only thing to calm me. A few weeks ago, I met a guy in a thrift store who said to me, “Don’t ever let sh*t talking fool you, people only talk about those who are worth talking about.” And maybe that’s why my New Year’s resolution will be to care a little bit less about those people and to acknowledge my tragedies rather than only running from them.
Do not be fooled, my life is a consistent and terrible mess. But I believe that I will have more stories to tell and fewer fears than most. I appreciate all that I have and do my best to change rather than complain. I may always be young, naïve and broke but I’m not afraid and that’s more than most can say.
So thank you for the tragedy, I needed it for my art. & Happy New Year, I hope you can find that there’s some beauty waiting for you in your own tragedies this year.