About a week ago I decided I needed to escape my usual surroundings after the death of my best friend and companion, my dog Charlie. I booked a train ticket to New York for a creative sabbatical and decided taking a sleeper roomette was one of those bucket list things I wanted to try.
Watching the world pass by and the landscape slowly changing with the weather felt like watching a visual manifestation of letting my emotions come and go. Mostly I cried, eventually wiping away my tears to try to distract myself with podcasts, picking at a blueberry muffin or spending some time in the dining car for the 360 views. The Lakeshore Limited is a beautiful route to New York that would probably be even more enjoyable if one was not in a state of emotional disarray. Yes, I spent much of the time coping with my recent loss and subsequent existential crisis, but the views. The ambiance.
There was also an incident around 7:30am this morning where I realized our sleeper car was locked from the rest of the train by accident, and to my horror there was no coffee in our car, and let me tell you it’s difficult to sleep on a moving train. Eventually myself and a couple other passengers turned on all our call light buttons on and about 30 minutes later we were let out, very exciting.
It isn’t possible to heal yourself with one trip, and I’m not sure that “finding yourself” on a getaway is a healthy concept, the work is never done, but I do think there is importance in getting outside of your comfort zone and gaining a new sense of perspective.
Since Charlie’s death I’ve been struggling to feel connected, wanted, loved, needed, he provided so many of those feelings of comfort and the emptiness he left behind has been almost unbearable. In a way this trip is a test…if I can learn to be gentler to myself, be my own best friend, build self reliance. All things I feel could be improved.
It is true after all that no matter where you go, there you are.