I took an unplanned fairly spontaneous trip to the coast for the weekend. It developed out of a conversation with my Traveling Partner, in his shop, Friday afternoon, after I finished my work day. He was neck deep in wiring a box, or programming a thing, or… something complicated. There was detailed technical documentation open on the computer near him. He had his “engineer face” on. I was definitely an interruption, and he was definitely doing his interrupted-best to be sweet to me in spite of that. “Looks like complicated work…” I said, or something similar. “What do you need?” he replied by way of affirmation and also getting somewhat impatiently to the point. “Would it be helpful if I went to the coast this weekend?” my mouth said, to my brain’s surprise (I no longer remember why I actually went into the shop at that moment – perhaps to ask questions about dinner preferences?). He said something encouraging without really engaging me 100%, and that was as much encouragement as I really needed. It was clear he needed room to work, and space to focus on the work in front of him.

Earlier in the day my browser had pinged me a notification about coastal “deals” at a hotel I like. I dug it out of the trash folder and looked it over. Seemed a reasonable price, and I settled on “the flip of the coin” and “letting fate decide”; if there was a room available still, I’d take it and grab my camera gear and go.

…There was one room left. It was already 4 pm. It was a rainy afternoon, and a Friday. I felt my anxiety surge; I don’t prefer to be driving after dark (I’m sometimes blinded by oncoming headlights, which seems unsafe). I grabbed my overnight bag, my camera bag, and my laptop bag. I grabbed some seasonally appropriate layers of clothing and stuffed them into my overnight bag, along with my toiletries. I swapped my work laptop for my personal laptop and my laptop bag was ready-to-travel. Packing took a brisk 5 to 10 minutes, since I have things like my camera gear and laptop pretty much always ready-to-go, and a default “don’t care” approach toward casual clothing for solo trips (clean and seasonally appropriate is good enough). I put my gear in the car, double-checked that I had my keys, my purse, and the battery charger for my camera batteries. I added my Kindle. I was ready to go. I returned to the shop for a kiss and a departing word. My partner seemed both surprised (“Wow, that was fast.”) and relieved (saying, seconds later, “Just go already.”). There was no sense that anything was “wrong”, just that my lingering to share details was not well-timed. So… off I went.

The view from my room. I arrived in time to see the sun set on a rainy day.

I spent my time walking beaches and wild spots, taking pictures, enjoying some solo time for self-reflection, and thinking over “how anxiety works” without being mired in it. I enjoyed the time knowing that I was not any sort of distraction for my Traveling Partner, who likely enjoyed being free to indulge himself by being immersed in his project without an eye on the clock, or any concern about disturbing me. A win all around.

A new day dawning.

I woke to a text message from my Traveling Partner saying he is “ready for me to come home now” (less in the sense that his project is wholly completed, and more just that he misses me that much) and asking when I plan to head back today. I feel it too; ready to go home. Ready to be in my partner’s good company. Ready to drink good coffee in my own home. Ready to sleep deeply in my own bed. Ready to have life’s conveniences where I expect them to be (instead of tucked in a bag, or splayed across a hotel coffee table). Ready for my partner’s laughter and jokes. Ready to be wrapped in the safety and comfort of home.

The sky this morning is delicate shades of pink and peach, and the air feels soft and forgiving. The morning chill is pleasant after sweating through some troubling dreams during the night. This coffee, here in the hotel room? Dreadful. Quite terrible. Notably so. lol There is time for a shower and time to pack up with care – there’s even time to take a few more pictures and get one more walk on the beach. No rush. I’m just eager to be home. 🙂

I pause my writing long enough to step out onto the balcony to breath the fresh sea air, then make my way downstairs to the breakfast bar. It’s a meager selection here (no kitchen). Adequate. I’m grateful; the coffee is an incremental improvement over instant, which was quite a bit better (still bad) compared to the poor quality drip coffee pouches provided in the room. It’s good enough. For breakfast I just grab a yogurt. The dawn beyond the balcony distracts me a bit from words on a page; the understandable pull of what is real, just outside my reach. The yogurt (a brand-name peach-flavored item) tastes pleasant, and “goes down easy” – which is nice. I woke feeling mildly upset to my stomach after unpleasant dreams (which may have been caused by an upset stomach…?). Nice to have a breakfast option that has the potential to improve things, and is at least unlikely to worsen things.

…Do I actually have “an upset stomach” – or is it symptomatic of my anxiety, which I have been paying close attention to, while also seeking not to “engage” it in direct one-on-one “conversation”? Something to think over. I for sure don’t have all the answers. I can definitely say I’m “over” having my anxiety continuing to “be a thing”… which doesn’t at all change whether it is. lol I sip my fresh cup of coffee. Definitely better. Still not actually good. LOL

…Like my anxiety, “definitely better – still not actually resolved”…

My stomach feels much improved with the better cup of coffee and the yogurt… I think about anxiety. I’d very much like to reliably do something that results in my anxiety also being reliably much improved. I mean, improved beyond the improvements thus far – more improved. I see a clinician this week to discuss returning to an Rx treatment for the anxiety continuing to lurk in the background. Here’s hoping that works out well. 🙂 I’m at least hopeful after discussing it with my therapist (PhD, not MD, so he doesn’t prescribe medications and I have to go elsewhere for that).

I miss my Traveling Partner. 🙂 Oh, but I also enjoy the sound of the wind and the waves, and the gulls calling out to each other in the sky, and from the beach… I’ll be back. For now, it’s just time to head home and begin again. 😀

The tide has turned…