Day One

Not the usual Day One road trip musings. Not the same as the last one, that’s for sure. There are some funnies, but there is more heavy than the last time my backside sat in the driver’s seat leaving my home area for a long run down the states.

For starters, this one is solo. Which in itself is not necessarily a bad thing but it feels heavy on my heart today in so many ways. Maybe tomorrow it will feel different but today it’s impacting me and making my head and heart tumble more than the wheels of my car have so far on this journey.

My trip this time is for a simple purpose: to give myself time and space to heal and reset in a way that I am hoping will bring me some peace.

The previous couple of months have been tumultuous to put it mildly. June and July were filled with my work environment and dynamics finally reaching a crescendo that had been building since last fall. An issue that has taken a toll not only on me physically and mentally but also contributed to a significant impact on my personal life with regards to my relationship with my partner.

The end of July saw the end to my long term relationship, in large part due to the degree of work-related stress in my life and how it affected every aspect of my mental and physical health; how it then affected her and, in turn, us. 

Within a week, I had reached the breaking point at work and a full-blown breakdown happened on my part at work. Two out of the four front staff leaving within a week of each other had created a situation that found me covering long and extra days and with the pre-existing work environment issues, I simply could not deal with it anymore and a decision had to be made. For my health and sanity. To say that sounds dramatic but it’s accurate and not at all over-stated. I was unable to stop crying and could not eat or sleep. My health was failing and I was unable to even make it in to work at one point. The decision was made for me to leave my job as the work conditions could not be changed and the interpersonal dynamics could not be dealt with in any way that would allow me to stay. The last two weeks of August have been grueling with long shifts and extra work days but there was an end in sight as August 29th was my last day. Almost seven years of employment done. 

All things told, in the past month and a half I have seen the two most basic, grounding levels of my life gone; of my day to day “me” in many ways, ended. One far more important and having a much deeper level of hurt than the other, but both rocked me.

So, what to do? Nothing to do other than move forward and try to settle and try to figure out how to live with the changes. That’s all anyone can do when faced with change. That’s what I’m doing. I’m doing it hurting and sad and with no idea how it is going to look when the proverbial dust settles. 

The answer for me was a road trip. A chance to get away, physically, from reminders of life that set my head spinning. 

I started the day today with mixed feelings of excitement for the days ahead of solo driving (I love long distance driving) and anxiety over being alone with just my thoughts and no distractions. I hadn’t realized just how much I had pushed down dealing with some hurt until there was nothing to do other than listen to my heart. Ouch.

As the miles rolled by, my emotions jumbled as much as the roads curved and climbed. Landmarks from my last trip this was brought back memories that made me smile and cry at the same time (yes, I am a pro at driving while crying 😉 ). I was reminded by just how indecisive I can be when I couldn’t make a choice on where to stop for the night (800 kms and 12 hours was enough I finally decided and Roseburg, Oregon is home for the night now.)

I’m sitting here in my hotel room, with the TV on to add some noise to my quiet and plunking away at getting some feelings out on the keyboard. I have pie in my room fridge from the diner across the street and I am not in my car so those are two big happy things right now.

Oddities from today:

  • Best billboard sign goes to… “LUST will drag you down to HELL!!!” (Sorry, no pic, I was driving)
  • A very stern crosswalk signal (check out my instagram for the video)
  • A brochure for Cannabis Tourism (pic below)
  • What I thought was the last remaining telephone booth in existence (turned out to be just the booth, no telephone 😦  (pic below).

Tomorrow, heading for the coast and winding my way down to some very missed framily. California first, then on to Arizona. Soaking up the sunshine and hugs and love. All very much needed all around as we are all hurting from way too much lately. 

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