So, the daily prompt asks us to talk about our oasis, our retreats, where we escape to in order to unwind and “remember who you are” when “things get to be a bit much.” Right now, I don’t have that place. I did before, in Mississippi and sometimes in New Mexico, but it’s been a long time since I’ve had my own little place of escape. Right now, the best I can do is retreat to my bedroom and read. Which, many studies have shown, isn’t good for you (bedrooms should be for sleep and sex only… I’ve read it over and over again), and it’s probably one of the many reasons why I’m not sleeping very well lately. That, and we like having the little dog with us in the bed. He’s a snuggler, but he won’t stay still! >_< Rascal.
Anyway, the point is, I used to like walking in order to get back to my sense of self, and failing that… in Mississippi I would go to either the Student Union and read or I’d go to the bookstore coffee shop and read (or surf the net)… anywhere with people was good for me. I’d also walk in New Mexico (before my breathing quit) and failing that, I’d ride the bus. I don’t know why, but the busses in Albuquerque were interesting… the people riding them were interesting, and the stations were full of all kinds of people. I’d take coffee at the station coffee shops too, and just sit. Very peaceful for me. It was the murmur of conversation around me that helped me find my center. I didn’t have to interact with people at these places, though I often did, just know they were there. Before Mississippi, I’d go to the mall or as I said before, anywhere with people. Long walks always worked too. See that picture up there? That was taken on a walk to the only store around when I was in Arizona in the mountains. It was a little post office/store/gas station about 2.5 miles from where I was. That is my kind of oasis… walking, just close enough to civilization to feel safe, but not so entrenched in it to feel overwhelmed. In other words, I’d rather walk the road than hike through the path in the woods. There were moose on the path, what are you? Crazy? I’d rather take my chances with cars than moose.
But whenever I try to go to a coffee shop or something like that here, the feel isn’t the same. The energy is different. Though I had a lively conversation in one sandwich shop with the proprietor and a customer — they were flirting with each other through me. I was the only stranger there. ^_^ It was fun and funny at the same time. And as I mentioned before, I’m not keen on walking around my neighborhood. The energy is just… off for me. It’s hard to explain. But walking around here isn’t peaceful for me. I could go downtown and walk, that’s okay, but it seems like such a colossal waste of time to take the train down there just to walk around and regain my equilibrium. Besides, the hills down there are murder on my knees… not to mention my asthma. What do you expect? We’re surrounded by mountains! I used to know the ins and outs of how to get around climbing these hills (elevators, escalators, etc…) but that was years and years ago. Now I schlep myself up them like any other newcomer and hope my lungs hold out. 🙂
I dunno. Downtown is okay to walk, but I haven’t found a place down there that I feel right sitting down and letting the people buzz around me. And I kinda need both. I’ve been here since August and I haven’t found that oasis. It’s getting to me. Reading in my room isn’t enough. Holing up in my apartment is making me stir crazy. But there’s nowhere else I want to be at the moment.
Huh… That sounded really whiny, and I didn’t mean it that way. I’m doing my best to stay busy, even holed up in my apartment. I’m making plans. Got the store thing going. I’m doing the exercise thing. Even if I don’t like walking around my neighborhood, I’m still doing it. I need the exercise, the dogs need it too. So there’s that. I have to go downtown today because I have a meeting with the Small Business Administration. They’re helping me with my business plan. So I’m not as pathetic as I sound. Still, it would be nice to have somewhere to retreat to in order to get away from it all, even if I don’t have a whole lot right now to get away from.