As I slip further and further into the abyss of attempting to write with a looming deadline, I find it harder and harder to disconnect from myself and my own worries. E-mails to friends wait longer and longer in my inbox, and it’s harder and harder to set aside my own stresses to focus on someone else’s. It’s easier to just throw up my hands and say that nobody understands, not even my friends that are doing the exact same thing. Hardly adult behavior.
But as my Dad said today (over something else entirely and with great sympathy), being an adult stinks. Like, royally royally sucks. I’m worrying about writing something that absolutely will affect my entire future, while finding a flat, paying my bills, budgeting my remaining funds, and (allegedly) at the same time cleaning my habitat, myself, and maintaining several relationships.
So it was a massive boon, when I felt like I can’t go on (I’ll go on), I received a very generous invitation to visit the lake district with Sir Not Appearing in this Blog.
It’s not often you get the opportunity to wander lonely as a cloud. And I mean, I really didn’t. But I did go on lovely walks through forests with moss-covered stone walls, past goats and sheep and horses. I clambered down steep dirt paths to see stunning waterfalls, stepped over tree roots towards sweeping vistas of seemingly untouched lakes, touched the cool slate of village houses that cropped up along winding roads.
It was an idyllic repose. Brisk British mornings answered with a warm mug of tea, jumping in the car to find the path through which we would trek. We stopped at lunchtime for flasks of (yet more) tea still piping hot, to be sipped in between bites of cold meat sandwiches and crisps, and finished off with a warm dairy milk bar. I spent afternoons thinking; sometimes about my thesis, but most of the time not. Tasty dinners of local cumberland sausage or scampi and chips down the local pub were consumed with relish, and I warmed my (perpetually cold) toes by the wood fire kindled in the small fireplace.
I could wake up to grey mornings without worrying when the library would open, and how much time ticked away from me. Instead, I laced my boots and skirted the fells and dodged the feathery clouds and misting rain.
We visited William Wordsworth’s cottage, that he rented during his most productive years as a poet. After learning so much about the area and all sorts of things, it was nice to dust off my english major cap and dredge up some knowledge about the Lake Poets.
My train rolled back into London on Tuesday night and I’m desperately clinging to the sense of peace I found in the Lake District. My thesis writing seems to be plodding along again, and (fingers crossed) I may now actually have a place to live next year. Good things, all. I hope.
I’m still stressed (just marginally less so).