The Astoria trip started rough. The drive over was peaceful enough, my parents headed over earlier with H. I drove separate because I had to work.
We checked in and walked over to a local pub/restaurant to eat, we were all hungry. H included, I sat down in a chair next to a plastic skeleton (seemed it was not a waiting area as I had thought at first, but a beer display of sorts) to feed him and managed to knock over a large beer, what I would call a 40. It crashed and sizzled majestically, every eye in the place peeled over to me. My, what I’m just trying to feed my baby impression didn’t go over smoothly. Only the bar maid sent to wipe up had a kind word, “It happens all the time.” Much irony over the embarrassment of the alcoholic spilling beer.
An hour later we were seated. We had to remind the server of the soups we ordered in between his rude jokes and long chats with the table next to us. We had no salt and he tried to argue with us about it while clawing through the condiment holder before grudgingly handing us one. More stuff happened, but hey it was the end of President’s day weekend, the place was a zoo, of course the service would be harried and spotty. The whole ordeal just made me feel so itchy in my own skin in a way I haven’t for so long. Those stares. The idea in my head that the server was just being shitty because I was the one that caused that beer to drop. The humiliation in front of my parents, two people’s opinions of me that sometimes weighs heavier than a sack of gold on my shoulders. My step-dad asked to pay for the beer multiple times. Each time my ears burned.
I’ve done a lot of work around not saying sorry for everything, and especially not sorry for things I’m not responsible for. If I don’t know the line I will stay silent until I do. I was afraid after it happened that me not making a big deal about it or over apologizing would be interpreted as snobbishness or entitlement. Or, worse than that: I wasn’t sorry that I had created a mess in the middle of a busy restaurant that would cause someone to clean up after me.
It staggers me to witness other human beings creating messes or making mistakes without feeling overly bad about it. Why? These individuals are no doubt far healthier than I. Why did I have it so ingrained within me to be sorry for my very existence? I have gotten better at it, detachment. It seems that I have much more work on this to do.
The trip was a dream after that. The pier next to our hotel housed my favorite spot, a coffee nook called, Coffee Girl. Since H still loves to wake up at 5am he and I were the lone customers at Coffee Girl when they opened at 7. Me being too bleary did not take my camera either morning. It was magical, the sun was out both days and made the water in the Columbia a pinky-blue. Coffee Girl is on the end of the pier so you have the feeling that you are in a boat when you look out their windows. The coffee and snacks were amazing.
We hiked up The Column which was a, er, well column. The views at the top were gorg, it was very windy so we stayed for only about 5 minutes before heading back down. You can buy wooden planes in their gift shop and watch them float down.
The views from up top:
The weather was truly amazing. The whole place has such mystical connection with so much water, whether it be the Pacific or the Columbia. Everywhere you look and everything you see seems to just be an accessory to the great blue. We passed by one sign that read, Cape Disappointment. My parents said the area was known for bulk shipwrecks. My step-dad said Lewis and Clark wrote about being depressed here because it was so gray and cold all of the time (paraphrasing with much liberty there!). We crossed over the bridge into Washington. The Long Beach Peninsula is a theoretical death trap, if the big tsunami hit everything would be destroyed.
It was uncanny to tour around such a supposed perilous area in such bright dreamy weather. Besides a chilling bite in the morning and at night it might as well be San Diego. Okay so that’s a little stretch…
I was glad my parents stayed a long time the first day (they just stayed one night, H and I two). We went back to Astoria to walk around, visit the Clatsop County Jail that now houses the Oregon Film Museum which was in the beginning of the movie, Goonies, and for a late lunch. Goonies! Best movie ever. It is our time. Our time down here…
We ate (much better experience this time) at the Silver Salmon Grille. What beats good food, crayons and white paper tablecloths? Very fun. They have an annual coloring contest and professional looking pictures of past winners line their walls.
So Astoria was a beautiful mess of life on life’s terms. On our way back we stopped by my step-sisters house to pick up more party decorations. I can’t believe H’s birthday is in less than two weeks!
I have decided too that I need to step up my contrary action game. The whole mind spiral after spilling the beer was not cool, I have to make AA more of a priority. I’m meeting with my sponsor on Tuesday and I went to a meeting yesterday. I felt such a peace when I was there, the dude next to me showed me the page they were on in, As Bill Sees It. He didn’t have to, he doesn’t know me, but that’s what AA is. I just have to do the opposite of what I want sometimes as far as my sobriety is concerned. It’s not about feeling or looking good. It’s about not drinking. I made a pie chart at a home group I go to and showed it to my friend. It was not cool. Most of the pie was family, H, and work. A tiny slice was yoga and an even tinier slice AA.
I managed one yoga class last week since we were on the trip. I had a magic moment while lowering down from plank when I felt super human. I remember that yoga super human feeling! I look forward to more. I signed my work trade agreement and submitted for full payment for teacher training. Work has surprisingly gotten much better, they asked me to stay two days a week while I go through the training and then we would evaluate what to do when I complete. The Higher Power works all things out, the best of both worlds for now. I almost walked out on the job a couple of weeks ago and I let my sponsor talk me down from that ledge. I’m grateful today that I listened to her.
I am grateful for my sobriety, H, my family, and life. I have an overwhelming feeling nowadays that I want to grab opportunity and shake it to see what pops out. Before AA I never had even the shadow of a feeling like that. I know that if I just continue doing the deal that everything will be okay. Maybe messy, but okay.