The older i get, the more i like visiting beaches. When i was a teenager i just saw them as another venue for raves, and when i went sober i found them boring because there isn't really anything to do besides surf. I could never relax because i couldn't let go of the emotional association with a miserable period in my childhood. I only really started to break that in the last four years - now i find a rocky point or some soft sand and sit and watch the water and the gulls and feel the sun and wind on my skin. It's a place to be at peace with my thoughts.
I always liked the mountains, rivers, lakes and plains... the desert too. Oceans and forests are my big fears in nature. I still feel awkward in forests or even heavily tree-lined streets and parks. I don't know where that anxiety comes from. I feel like i could be ambushed, i like to be able to see around me. Which is kinda irrational because tenements offer much less visibility and i have no problem in heavy urban environments, but whoever said anxiety was rational?
After M and i broke up but before she moved out we drove up to the local ski field to see the snow - i think it might have been her first time? On the way back we were in the middle of nowhere and the stars were shining clear and bright above the road. She asked me to pull over and jumped out of the car to admire them. It was dead quiet and i started having a panic attack, feeling like some redneck axe murderer was going to spring from the shadows. I told her i had to get the fuck out of there and floored it back to the city. That was the last time i was out amongst the trees.
It's funny when you live so long in the city you forget these little fears. Sitting on the beach Monday, even though it was really just a lake and not the ocean, all those memories came back. How many times did i treat my mom, my partner, my friends like crap because i didn't feel comfortable by the sea? I wonder what will happen next time i visit a forest - assuming i can even get there in the first place without having an anxiety attack from having someone else drive me on the freeway. Wow my brain is full of awesome neuroses.
In other news, i went boxing again tonight and i'm sold. It's my new thing. Dumbeks are also my new thing, since my first official lesson is tomorrow. Fortunately i only need to use my fingers, because the rest of my body will undoubtedly be in great pain. And i do mean "great". I love that i am using my body again.