Vacation Extended

…And coming to a close now. Yep. When I got home from my vacation up to Northern California, I got a call from my best friend. She wanted me to come down and finally see where she had moved ages ago. Grover Beach is a very nice and relaxed community nestled between a number of much busier beach-side communities (like Pismo and Morro Bay). I’ll be leaving back for Taft tomorrow afternoon but I’m going to miss the weather and the gorgeous sites of this place.

As I vacation, however, I realize that I really have changed a lot in just the last five years. There was a time where I never would have taken as many risks as I’ve been taking lately. None of this even sounds risky to others–going out to Northern California, coming out to Grover Beach. They’re all normal things. For me? Not the case. It’s been tough for me to go out and do the things people take for granted. Taking long trips made me anxious because I worried about all the things that could go wrong. What if we crashed? What if somebody got sick? What if we took a wrong turn somewhere? I didn’t want to be trapped and so I freaked out and built things up in my head.

My past self would have built these things up to epic proportions until I had a meltdown and then actually MADE myself sick! That’s how bad it was. There were days when I didn’t even want to leave the house, to go out across the street. I had to force myself to even walk to the mailbox some days because I was so terrified of what might be out there. What if somebody drove by and saw me? What if I locked myself out of the house? What if a scary big dog came launching itself at me?

Now… I know all these things are ridiculous and I knew that back then, too. But I couldn’t control my levels of anxiety. These days, I’ve been more chill, managing not to think too much about the would be scenarios and instead making myself focus on what’s happening NOW. Not later. Just now.

I think it’s also opening up a lot regarding my writing. There have been so many more ideas flowing through my head. I’m no longer stuck in the teenager fan fiction stage I was trapped in for so long. I really hope to be able to share all these ideas soon, in the form of short stories and novels alike!

Rachel Aseltine

R.A. Aseltine is an author and roleplayer living in California with her husband, guinea pig, and five cats.

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