A couple Sundays ago, I took myself on an artist date.
To be fair, it was not exactly planned as an artist date. I did not purposefully carve out the time, it was slotted for me. Nevertheless, I chose to make this time part of my creative process.
First on the list was to treat myself to a lunch of Indian food. I haven’t eaten and enjoyed it for years. I chose a newer restaurant that I had not been to before because the place I used to frequent in the same town, is no longer open. The new place has a lunch and dinner buffet on the weekends. To be honest, I hate the buffet. What I order and what is comfortable for me is never on the buffet. I know this, but I feel pressured. Since it was a new place I did not order off the menu. I was too shy. I did have delicious butter chicken and I tried a new dish but there no Naan so that was disappointing.
Next, I went to a park that has a 3 mile trail loop. I walked the path that I have run hundreds of times training and running races in the years previously.
The feelings I experienced were bizarre. It was like being a stranger somewhere that used to be home. It was familiar, but there were new parts which honestly filled me with anxiety. The park had installed new wooden plank walkways and there were new trees and foliage everywhere which was lovely. I did a lot of reflecting and sweating. While I walked, I just listened to the woods and the water. I did listen to a podcast for part of the time but shut it off quickly to enjoy my surroundings.
Lastly, I visited a local coffee shop in the town where I live. It is a small chain but feels homey and writer-friendly. I almost didn’t stop though. I drove around the square twice before finally parking. I am glad that I did and did not allow my anxiety to grab hold. I didn’t write much myself but did record a lot of conversation between 3 friends that were meeting that will for certain end up in a story.
Part of what I learned is the fact I am dealing with some very real anxiety. I had to keep talking myself into keeping my plan and not go home. The moment of not going back is today. I am not sure who I have become. I forged forward and the feelings were not crippling but I sure didn’t like it. Everything was just off center. I kept having to talk myself into doing something that years ago I would have happily done – and have done numerous times.
At this point in my life, I am not comfortable in new places it seems. There was different anxiety at each place.
These new feelings are unwelcome but also preparation for the new life I want to be living. I have to get out sometimes don’t I? I have been ignoring the feeling of wanting to rush home.
I am uncertain as to the why of the anxiety. I can guess but I also cannot reverse it.
I am not exactly lost.
I will keep moving forward and reflecting and honoring how I am feeling and see where it takes me.