"Genuine beauty is always quite alarming."
--Donna Tartt, The Secret History
I just got back from my first ever trip to Edisto Island. Yes, I'm a South Carolinian who'd never ventured to this quaint, quiet beach until now. My experience was ...interesting. I guess what I'm trying to say is, after my CRAZY week of work and juggling a million things at once, I found the snail-like pace of Edisto to be slightly maddening when I first arrived. I checked into my eerily quiet condo all by myself on Thursday, found that the television didn't work (there wasn't any wi-fi either!) and tried to figure out what to do with myself. The obvious answer would be to read something or write something, but it wasn't that simple.
For those of you who don't know, I struggle quite a bit with anxiety and panic. It took some work to calm myself down that night (a little bit of song therapy, if you must know, and a well-timed visit from my roomie, John, who was concerned after my phone call about how "SPOOKY" my accommodations were) but by the next morning, I was quite all right. I figured out the pace of Edisto, and darn it, I embraced it the best I could. I poured myself a cup of black coffee and walked to the bookstore, where I purchased a book of the island's history and another novel by Donna Tartt, since I loved The Goldfinch. I met a few of the local business owners and chatted them up. I swam in the ocean. I took a post-beach nap. I rode in a boat. I ate plenty of fresh seafood.
In the end, Edisto turned out to be a beautiful and serene place. I just had to ...dial it back a bit.