Vanishing As a Way to Reclaim Your Life

Recommended! I love this essay. If you have a moment, read it.

Longreads

Laura Smith | The Art of Vanishing | Viking | February 2018 | 22 minutes (5,980 words)

I have long been in the habit of passing by houses and wondering about the people who live inside. I grew up in a residential neighborhood in Washington, D.C., the kind where the homes are close together and neighbors often wind up knowing more than they might like to. Before dinner, I would escape my house to walk our little white lapdog. The predictability of the ritual — setting the table, filling water glasses, the sight of my parents’ briefcases in the hall — filled me with dread. A day had ended exactly as it had the day before, and it would end the exact same way the next day and possibly forever.

This wasn’t how I wanted my life to be. I imagined that when I grew up, I would live all…

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