[ih-skeyp] verb, es·caped, es·cap·ing, noun, adjective
verb (used without object)
1. to slip or get away, as from confinement or restraint; gain or regain liberty: to escape from jail.
2. to slip away from pursuit or peril; avoid capture, punishment, or any threatened evil.
3. to issue from a confining enclosure, as a fluid.
4. to slip away; fade: The words escaped from memory.
5. Botany. (of an originally cultivated plant) to grow wild.
When we think of ESCAPE, we tend to lean into definitions 1 through 4. We’re talking about sprinting away from something less-than-serendipitous, spiritually-strangling — even perilous.
Springing outta jail. Fleeing the scene. Cracking the lock. Revving the getaway car.
Personally, I’m attracted to the fifth (and forgotten) definition: to grow wild.
When I dropped out of college, I thought I was escaping the self-imposed pressure & cracking-ice tension of dominating the classes I (rarely) enjoyed. In reality, I needed to grow wild.
When I packed all my belongings into two overstuffed suitcases and moved 7,043 miles away from home to a small town on the southern tip of New Zealand, I thought I was escaping a traumatic breakup. In reality, I needed to love wild.
When I quit my comfortable 9-to-5 job, I thought I was escaping the abrasive confinements of cubicle life. In reality, I needed to work wild.
My best decisions — and finest escapes — have always sprung, whether I realized it or not, from the desire to grow wild. To release self-invented limitations. To nourish myself with raw experiences. To bloom fast, ferocious & free.
And so, the question for every escape artist becomes:
If I complete this grand escape —
— and quit the job
— or leave the guy
— or sell the house
— or burn the website
— or axe the partnership
— will I simply be TRANSPLANTING myself to a new patch of soil, with all my cultivated strictures intact, or will I be GROWING WILD?
Transplant your cultivated self, and you’ll yearn for another form of escape before you’ve even set down fresh roots. But grow wild — and there will be nothing to escape.