If you have read Paper Towns, you’ll know the story of the red balloon. Let me have the author give a better explanation:
“Listen, kid. This is what happens: Somebody-girl usually-got a free spirit, doesn’t get on too good with her parents. These kids, they’re like tied-down helium balloons. They strain against the string and strain against it, and then something happens, and that string gets cut, and they just fly away. And maybe you never see the balloon again. It lands in Canada or somethin’, gets work at a restaurant, and before the balloon even notices, it’s been pouring coffee in that same dinner to the same sad bastards for thirty years. Or maybe three or four years from now or three or four days from now, the prevailing winds take the balloon back home, because it needs money, or it sobered up, or it misses its kid brother. But listen, kid, that string gets cut all the time.”
“I’m not finished, kid.