Right now, you are sitting on a rock by the water. You are near, almost under, a big frond like plant you can’t identify. There is a walking path nearby, worn to dirt by feet.
You are on your first big girl vacation, the first trip you’ve taken without a goal in mind. It is thrilling in its simplicity, how easy it is to just up and leave.It will open something in you, a deep desire to leave the bounds of your heretofore normal life.
You consider yourself an Indoor Girl, a phrase you’ve stolen from Titanic, so it’s unusual that you’re stationed outside. You haven’t been camping except in the backyard in your grandfather’s tent from the Normandy Campaign, you don’t go off wandering in woods, but you’re here, on this beautiful August day, sitting in the sun.
Despite worrying about how the sun will scorch your skin, you will take off your shoes and curl your toes in the grass. You will sit for longer than you think necessary, but ultimately will let the sun turn the top of your shoulders pink. Remember this feeling. Remember the calm strokes of the waves against the rocks. Remember the call of the seagulls. Remember the beat of the sun. In a few months, those simple possibilities will be gone. You will truly become an Indoor Girl.
There’s a virus, and you being you, will follow the guidelines. You will read too many news articles, analyze too many graphs, stare at too many screens. You will mourn Saturday mornings at your favorite cafe, the inability to hug your friends in person, the loneliness that will visit you in your apartment. This was your choice, to live apart, and yet it carries a certain sadness you cannot shake.
More than that, you will mourn the sensation you discovered in Maine, the knowledge that you can just leave, that the restraints placed on you were of your own making, of a world who trained you to believe they were there when all along, there was nothing.
How do I know this, you ask? Well, I’m you, but eight months from now. And I will tell you, it is hard. At first you will resist, fearful of regressing back into old patterns, and too many of your sleepless nights are addled by medication. You will resist the walls of your new self-imposed cage.
Once you realize staying inside is your choice, it becomes easier. You embrace being an Indoor Girl, and I’m happy to report that it will not be permanent. You had plans; you still have plans. You’ve been delayed, not deterred, and will use the time inside to scheme. I don’t yet know what the future holds, but it will still be ours for the taking once this is done.
That day in the sun was a taste of things to come. You just need to be patient. Until then, take care, and be well. I’ll see you soon.