Vacation Conjecture

Today is my first day back to my normal life following my vacation. I can only guess at how I feel right now, since I’m writing this two weeks prior in order to allow myself a break from daily blog updates during said vacation. The actual week I’m on vacation is going to be only flash fiction so I can avoid feeling guilty for not posting anything. I’ve spent a week in a distant cabin a few hours north of where I normally live, enjoying a getaway with two of my younger siblings and two of my friends (all of us made up my old Monday night D&D group back before I realized I needed to dial things back a little bit in 2021). Some of these people met each other in person for the first time while sharing a cabin with three bedrooms, two bathrooms, and probably just a little bit too little space for all five of us to be comfortable together. As someone who has lived alone for two years, I imagine it took a bit of getting used to for me and that I found great solace in the ability to just go for a walk or sit outside in the shade.

I hope I’m rested. The whole point of this trip was to recreate the retreats my siblings and I used to take with our family at our grandparents’ lakeside cottage. We aren’t really on good terms with our family or our grandparents anymore, though my siblings are a bit less estranged than I am, so it has been a while since we’ve been able to get away like this. As much as I do not regret my choice to distance myself from my family, I sorely miss having a summer retreat to get away from cell signal, the demands of life, and the lights of the city. I yearn for the silence of nature, the opportunity to see almost no one, and the knowledge that I can’t learn anything about the world because I’m too far from cell service to access the internet on my delightful misery rectangle.

I hope I’ve had the time I need to breath deeply, to rest a little bit, and to relax without having to worry about why I’m taking this break. I went on trips to a friend’s house during the weeks I was on furlough from work back in 2020, but it was difficult to feel rested or relaxed after them because it was a constant reminder that I was slowly getting more and more broke, that the country I lived in had decided to just allow the pandemic to run rampant, and that my job was not as secure as I had once thought. This time, I’m taking a week away from work by choice, spending money to get away from my life, and my only anxiety will be if I’m going to get tired of my fellow vacation goers since I’ve grown so used to solitude.

I hope this vacation, with no set schedule, no expectations for activities, and no need to do anything but what I wish to in the moment was the unstructured fun I needed. I’m sure I’ve filled it with various forms of entertainment (I brought my PS4, Switch, various TV shows, some books, and a few games to enrich my life) and my current writing projects, since I don’t particularly enjoy doing nothing, but maybe I didn’t. I used to love doing nothing and only over the past few years have I lost that love. It would be nice to have recovered my ability to embrace silence and peace, but I think that might be too great an expectation to put on this single week away, especially when I’ll be getting home the day before I need to go back to work. That’s probably been a rought transition. I can’t imagine I got home, did all my laundry, and then went to bed thinking “I can’t wait to go to work tomorrow!” That doesn’t sound like me at all, let alone a me who has spent a week away from work and only just returned to their home and familiar comforts.

I’ve spent so much time living in and taking comfort from the same routines, so hopefully this break from them was more constructive than destructive. From my position writing this in the past, I hope that I didn’t struggle to adapt to the relatively minor changes of a vacation and the seriously major changes of being around people for multiple days in a row with little opportunity for solitude. I hope that the version of me reading this is doing so with a greater deal of contentment than I feel, that they enjoyed themselves, and that they found the extended social contact affirming rather than frustrating. After all, both versions need all the affirmation we can get.

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