I decided to do something a little different this week. In an effort to simultaneously blog more and stress out about blogging less, I will be sharing passages from my private travel journal for the first time.
A couple of weeks ago, I decided to travel to a cabin in the woods in the Catskills, completely alone. I took this trip for many reasons, but mostly to check in with myself after losing my mom to a stroke in July. I firmly believe in learning to be with, and setting aside time for oneself. This trip was a time for reflection, self-TLC, loneliness — and ultimately, triumph.
I normally wouldn’t share my writings from a personal journal — the thought makes me hot with embarrassment. However, after much vacillating on how to cover my trip, I decided that publishing my impressions and thoughts as they were first recorded is the best and most pure way to convey all that this trip meant to me.
I will be posting one journal entry per day this week, to correspond with the entries I wrote on my trip. I hope you all enjoy my personal journey as much as I did.
Day 1: Monday, September 30
I arrived at the cabin around 4:30 in the afternoon. The dirt — or should I say boulder — road up was terrifying. I scratched the bottom of the rental car, and worry that I will do permanent damage if I try again.
I took a quick walk to the private lake down the street to check it out — it was beautiful, but I wasn’t sure where the access point was, so I only walked around the parameter.
I made gnocchi for dinner and tried to settle down. I felt anxious about being alone in such a dark place, so I turned on all the lights and cranked Prohibition on Netflix, to help me feel more comfortable.
I put on a fire (because, as my dear friend Alysa says, “fires make everything less scary”) and had to LOOK UP how to use a wood burning stove. Like I’ve never used one before! It’s so crazy how things completely slip away from you over time. Even skills that once felt like muscle memory — like tending to a wood stove in an old barn after school each day — become foreign with the passage of time.
Anyway, outside of my hyper-bright cabin in the woods, all was dark and quiet and I genuinely became kind of terrified. The fact that I cannot see outside AT ALL is the worst. Plus, there are no shades on the windows in this house, except in the bathroom and bedroom. It’s quite awkward. I keep thinking of how someone could simply watch me from outside and I would have no idea. Like anyone would stand outside and watch ME watching a Ken Burns documentary, binging on snacks. That sounds… super likely.
And then I started thinking of all of the animals. Couldn’t there be bears? Foxes? Rabid raccoons (are they still a thing?!)? Who knows. I considered shutting the gate out front for further protection, but was too afraid to go outside the “safe porch.” I did go out there a few times to check out the stars. It’s so dark and clear here that you can see the Milky Way and every little star. It is beauty beyond imagination. It’s too bad I am scared to stay out there for more than two minutes.
I will try again tomorrow.