I want to find somewhere new, that’s just me. I want to be somewhere, unrelated to Kevin, myself, the boy, unrelated to anything. Something that is just new and only has new memories. Someplace that doesn’t take me a back to a time that I will never be able to recreate. A place that doesn’t stir up emotions of sadness and reflection. A spot with a clean slate, a beautiful view, a place where I can sit a while.
This weekend I went in search for that. Before I got to that point I struggled…a lot. I worked late Friday which squashed dreams of driving to Assateague and spending the night, maybe in the back of my car, camping out. I woke up Saturday morning wanting to go to Assateague, but I was on call for work, I knew I shouldn’t. So I stayed. I woke up late on Sunday, too late to go. Disappointed I couldn’t. I needed to escape. My skin was crawling, I needed to get out of here.
I just needed to escape. I sought out some new places, and after a mental battle of about an hour, settled on Codorus State Park, which features a huge man-made lake. I’m not so into ‘man made’ but I figured it was water, only 1 hour away, and new, unrelated to anything in my past.
I just couldn’t get out of Lancaster. The cafe where I stopped was busy, and I felt guilty for paying too much for breakfast when I could have eaten oatmeal at home. I had to stop back at the apartment to switch out my laundry. Finally, after lunchtime, I was on the road. I was already annoyed, I just wanted to be somewhere else already! I told people I was getting away for a bit, what I should have said was “don’t text or call me, I need X amount of hours of complete disconnect”. Instead, like my usual bad communication self, I didn’t, so with every text and call, I became more annoyed, more hostile, more shut down.
The drive took forever. I thought I could take some back roads, but the GPS kept yelling at me, and no new route seemed to work. I was frustrated. I arrived. I put on my hiking boots, grabbed my technology and my journal, and walked. I didn’t know where I would go, but I figured if I kept to the perimeter of the lake I’d see some nature and wouldn’t get lost. People were out and about, but thankfully I was mostly to myself. The walk didn’t relieve my stress. I needed a spot.
I walked until the brush stopped me, and sat on a concrete block that anchored the nearby docks. I journaled. I wrote about my frustrations of the days, my worries for the future, my disappointment in the things in my life that are making me feel so stuck and anchored in something I don’t enjoy. I felt better, at ease. I stayed there for a bit, trying to dissolve my apprehensions. Then a man came up on the docks. He began throwing corn into the water for the fish to eat. I became angrier. Feeding corn to fish like they do on fish farms. Disappointment. Again.
I left, walking up the hill, out of breath, slightly less frustrated with my day away. I saw couples happily walking their dogs. An older man jogging. People out and happy in the Springtime weather. I cried. I was angry that Kevin was missing out on this life.
When I came back towards my car, I was ready to leave. Done with my adventure. Instead, I sat. I walked down the hill and just stared at the water, at the geese. I listened to the older couples talking about the Eagle they were looking at through their binoculars.
I felt calm. I let go of everything. I submitted to nature, to its beauty, to my feeling of inadequacy in all that I do. I surrendered. Today, I’m still trying to do that again.