The day of my surgery I was in a hospital bed emailing my travel agent. We needed a vacation. Whenever life gets really tough for me, I take flight. I run somewhere that I can breathe and take a step back. By just booking a trip it gives me something to focus on. Not that I’m trying to run from dealing with life in general but I need to go to a place where I know I can find myself again. The ocean does it for me every time. So we booked the next place on our travel list and the first week in December we left the beginnings of holiday chaos behind for 82 degrees and a beach.
I was stressed before we left. A stress that left me feeling like I couldn’t get a grip on anything. I couldn’t even get excited for my trip because life was happening and details that I couldn’t get to were sending me over the edge. I didn’t get a manicure, I didn’t get a wax, I didn’t swing in for a few tanning bed sessions, I didn’t acknowledge the state of my toes and I didn’t bother shopping for anything new and fun to wear. I threw old swimsuits in a bag along with my go-to summer dresses and a bottle of nail polish and called it good. My Husband questioned why I, for once, didn’t over pack.
There is that moment when you get on a plane and turn off your phone for an entire week, that moment, that is where I exhaled that early morning. I exhaled for the first time in a long time. There was nothing I could do about anything at that point. If it wasn’t taken care of or finished then it would have to wait until we got back. We unplugged. I found the first mimosa I could at our layover and sipped it happily. I looked at my Husband and truly smiled at him.
I know we all say it on vacations or at least we should, we found ourselves again on this vacation. I look at our pictures and can see we look five years younger. The stress of the past couple of months slowly faded from our faces. The color came back to us and not just in the form of a tan.
During the day we spent our time at the beach and I couldn’t even bother to read a book. I just sat, soaking up the sun, listening to the ocean, drinking rum. Just being still. Every evening we sat on our balcony and talked, the stress so far behind us. There wasn’t the ghost of a baby in the room with us and I didn’t feel like people were walking on egg shells around me. There was no Facebook to throw another pregnancy announcement in my face or any other social media to remind me that I should be nearing the end of my second trimester. Instead I was fine being in the moment with my Husband. I was fine with being us and not keeping track of time. I was fine keeping life simple and unapologetic.
Here is the thing about coming back to reality though. The beach doesn’t solve everything. Yes, it gave us space in between breaths that we needed. But, it doesn’t take away this ache of how I miss my baby, a feeling I never thought I would have and can’t explain. It didn’t give me an answer on what to do next. That is okay though because there are no answers and only time will get us where we need to be next. This trip just gave us a new starting point.