Stage 1 Unreasonable clothing and unrealistic expectations
Despite the chilly weather and the pleasant wind gust on the train platform, my head is sweating. I can feel my hair sticking to my scalp under the orange summer hat. Despite it being a difficult object to travel with it was essential to my Jane Austen countryside holiday fantasy. I could see it all in front of my inner eye. I sit on the bench on the pier leading out to the lake. Hat on head, mind lost in a book all of the sudden surprised by a wind gust. I shriek ( I never have shrieked in my life, but let’s just go with it), the hat goes flying and when I already think my dear headpiece is lost to the lake gods a beautiful young man comes around the corner in a rowing boat with the orange fly away in hand. We fall in love. The end.
Long story long this is the only hat that has any potential for lift off so it is coming.
I am taking the train out of Berlin to spend a few days on the countryside. I miss having some peace and quiet.
Arrival. Breath. Relax. This is what we came here for.
The lake hotel looked better in the pictures and my inner critic is ripping this perfectly peaceful village a new one. I completely forgot that one of the reasons I like the city craziness was that it blends out my own inside craziness. But hey I am not always a smart woman.
Stage 2 Anger and Dissatisfaction
Oh god have mercy and tell me do I need to give up or open my mind?
I chose to open my mind and smoked some of the joint an ex-boyfriend gave me to my recent birthday. I was hiding from the more elderly guest by the lake. I was enjoying the esthetic – joint in hand, orange hat on head, look far in the distance.
My mind opened a little and the munchies got my ass on one of the hotel bikes and to the next village which housed the nearest food store.
On my way there that damn orange hat really almost took flight a couple of times, but I was not ready for a romantic encounter with the guy on the tractor driving walking distance next to me. I pressed that little nugget to my head with all my might.
While in the store I am trying to make eye contact with anyone that looks like city folk. I managed to make a tattooed guy uncomfortable, but I didn’t manage to pressure him into a social interaction.
The restaurant food is bloody shit and expensive around here. Shameless exploitation of the monopoly.
The most insane part about this is that nobody made me come here! I choose this! I paid for this! I somehow manage to be unhappy and irritated after not even 24 hours.
Never satisfied, but always trying.
Stage 3 Bargaining
Maybe there is a lesson in here for me. This is a pattern I follow in my life regularly – I get everything I want and am unsatisfied.
Somehow I don’t know how to want the cool things.
Why does slowing down feel like a punishment?
Why do I continually need to go against the current?
Naps are great though.
I should be meditating. It is the latest thing I started and dropped again – as one does. You see meditation is like running. The runner’s high is amazing. But it is as tedious as training for a marathon. I should try doing what dog parents do; carry a little blanket with me that is from home. That way when the puppy arrives somewhere new it doesn’t feel lost. I suspect that would work for me as well.
My work and my daily duties keep me cinched in a corset of sanity. The moment I let it loose it all comes tumbling out in a big mess. The first thing that completely goes haywire is my personal hygiene and sleeping patterns. My hair has not been washed since I left the city and I am binging a new tv show until 3 in the morning. Then comes my eating. I start to eat chips and cookies in parallel to balance out the flavor profiles.
I have come undone.
Stage 4 Depression, reflection, loneliness, the upward turn
The basic motivation that is keeping me going is hunger. I wouldn’t even say it is a hunger for food per se. It is the wish to go to a restaurant that is different. Apparently, the way to torture me is to make me eat at the same overpriced place for 4 days in a row.
I again turned to my savior which was the rental bike. Not sure if this was a practical joke, but I got a different one than before. This one apparently was meant to be my purgatory before I move to the next ring of hell. The numbers next to the handle indicated 7 gears – only the last and first seem to have been left working.
I took a route around the lake. It was gravel – naturally. It took my ridicules effort to keep up a forwards momentum. School children in high tech gear, ultralight bikes, stupid helmets and middle-aged teacher pass me by like I would be standing still – am I standing still?
I lifted my spirits by stealing cherries from a roadside garden. The tree was hanging heavy with the fruit towards the road and I couldn’t resist. I consider showing the granny passing in a VW Caddy the middle finger but opt for another hand full of cherries.
Slightly less hungry I ride towards home.
Stage 5 Acceptance and Hope
The brain seems to have accepted that it is not one of the deadly sins to sit still and not constantly produce. I would even say that I am starting to enjoy my free time.
I went to bed again far too late. I was up watching a workshop recording on nonviolent communication. The grainy recording shows a guy explaining that there is a giraffe way of speaking which doesn’t imply judgment or manipulation. I let you watch it if you are into that kind of thing. The realization I took away from it is that I never have had a nonviolent conversation with myself. All of those thoughts from previous days somehow were tied to judgment. I live with this deep conviction that there is a right way of doing anything and that I am for sure not doing anything that way.
Something was lifted. Maybe it was eating cookies for two days and engaging in staring contest with animals. Maybe it was stepping a little step closer to being in peace with myself by checking in with the way the voices in my head conduct themselves.
I decide to stay 2 hours extra to spend some time in the sun.
The lady from the hotel took me to the train station.
I went home. Rested.