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When I was about 8 years old, I got it into my head that I would run away from home. At that particular time my family and I were living in a neighborhood in Knoxville, Tenn., that still had vacant lots and new construction. I imagined myself taking shelter in the wooden skeleton of one of those new houses.
I read books about runaways including “My Side of the Mountain” and I figured if those young children could make a successful go of it then I could, too. However, I failed miserably. I didn’t even make it out the door.
My first mistake was telling my parents about my plans. I sat in my room, which had an intercom to the first floor of the house, yearning to push the speaker button, but not really having the guts to follow through.
I had already packed a bag, but I discovered the actual part of leaving home was more difficult than I had bargained.
I did finally inform my parents about my plans. My mother didn’t seem all that impressed. She calmly pointed out the many holes in my scheme – what would I do for money, food, etc. This is where my second mistake appears; I hadn’t thought about these rather essential details and suddenly running away no longer looked appealing.
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