It was summertime and I had been working on the coast for about a year. The ‘friendship’ with Lauren had come and gone. I could barely give her a neutral tone of voice without her going to cry to everyone in the building about it. It was exhausting. I tried to continue to be there for myself as much as possible and some days were harder than others. Lauren playing the victim made me so angry it felt like my heart would burst right in my chest.
One day, in the heat of summer I decided to take a nice long lunch break down the road by the rocks I liked to sit on. The summer sun shone strongly through the trees and I felt, not just ok about life, but proud of myself and who I had come to be on my own two feet. The pure beauty of everything around me and inside of me made the sting out of anything I could dwell on a dull murmur somewhere inside my larynx. Everything that was going on in my heart was much more exciting and new anyways. It had been a serene drive in, taking in the sun shining off the water on my hour commute, feelings of peace and satisfaction overwhelming me pleasantly. The summer heat later in the day had given me a new sense of energy. The season had a way of connecting me back to different parts of myself that I thought I had lost.
I got down to my favorite spot and decided to walk a little closer to the water than I usually would. Foregoing my normal safe rock up by the path, I decided to take my shoes off. Other people that worked in the building could amble down the path, but it happened very seldomly. I let my knees hang on the rough rock beneath me and stuck my feet in the cool ocean water. The warm temperature made my heart hum with delight. It was like all my fears and concerns just melted away through my feet. I pretended that I was sometime long ago and I decided to do what I would do if I were somewhere else, completely free. I kept the story going. I said if I were just by myself right now and I was somewhere nobody knew me what would I do? I felt an instant sense of freedom and excitement and the feeling you get when there are a ton of possibilities ahead of you.
It led me to the most fantastic lunch. The sun was shining brightly and it was hot. It was the perfect day. I went back up to my normal rock and grabbed my sandwich and brought it with me closer to the water. I finished eating it and sat there a while longer with my socks crumpled up into my sneakers staring off into the horizon.
I put on some music and looked out at the ocean and let the warm sun rays melt into my skin. It wasn’t long before I had to pee. I figured I’d go back up to the building, it had been about a half an hour already but I really didn’t want to go back.
There wasn’t anything left to do that day. Peter and Lauren were out sampling and Harold had been in and out of meetings all day. I had already even gotten a lot of my extra work done in the morning that I had all month to do. I knew from going into Harold’s room earlier that there were about 3 sheets of data to enter which would take all of a half and hour if I was lucky.
So, I decided that instead of walking back that I’d risk finding a spot to pee outside somewhere. That is, after all, what I would do if I were alone in this kind of spot anywhere else in the world with no one around. And although it was only about a 6 to 7 minute walk down here from the building I felt fairly secure in my ability to pull it off. There was tall grass growing in the meadow behind me and loud insects chirping about giving me an extra sense of security. I went off the path and beside a big bristly bush and quickly did my business.
I hurriedly jumped back on the path and went happily back to my spot on the rocks unnoticed, my heart beating a little faster. I took my shoes off again and walked down to the water and stuck my feet in and continued to enjoy myself. I felt immensely proud of the good day I had created for myself. It didn’t even feel like I was at work. I could have easily spent the day obsessing over Lauren and her planning demise on my reputation. I could have thought of ways to try to control it, slow it down. I could have thought of ways to try to get people to see me how I saw me, but it was all worthless. No one can really do that. I finally just surrendered to what was and spent the day the best way I knew how, by being completely free down by the ocean. Who cares if I didn’t have any friends? I was finally and gratefully beginning to be friends with myself. Beginning to honor myself and my feelings.