Entry 1: Part 2

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Okay, I'm back. An employee just escorted me to the first-class dining cart. Upgrade, right?

Wrong. Now I'm just crammed at the end of a long table, wearing a bright yellow sticker that tells the other staff something along the lines of: I'm actually supposed to be in coach! Don't serve me!!

You'd think that after selling a ticket I'd already purchased (with no refund at all), they'd at least give me some complementary snacks.

Anyway, the biggest plus to this arrangement is that I have a seat to sit in and a hard surface to write on now. The train ride is going to take a few more hours, and since I was advised not to bring any technology with me on my trip, this little notebook and my inner thoughts are all I've got to entertain me.

You know, it was an incredibly spur-of-the-moment decision, this journey I'm taking from London to Switzerland. Everyone in my office likes to call me a bit of a workaholic, so actually using my vacation days for something is quite uncharacteristic of me. I can't say I disagree. To be frank with you, I didn't really want to take a break in the first place. Even when I was running to catch this damn train, a part of me thought it'd be best if I just accepted defeat, let it roll away, and came into work late instead. We've just started a pretty demanding new project in the office, anyway. I'd definitely be useful.

But I guess what really pushed me to fight so hard to get onto this train was something thing everyone kept telling me this past week––something I started telling myself as well:


So here I am, smushed between a burly man's shoulder and the wall, rocking back and forth on a metal stool with uneven legs, relaxing.

All I have to say is that this "wellness center" Tim recommended to me better be the most amazing freaking place I've ever been to. The last thing I want is to have endured all of this stress and pain and discomfort today for a spa that isn't even that great. There are plenty spas in London––cheaper ones, too––that could disappoint me instead.

But Tim wouldn't stop raving about this place in the offices last week. He hasn't been there himself, but apparently he has an aunt who's at it right now. She's had a bad back for over thirty years, and she just wrote to him that this center made all her back pain completely vanish in under two weeks. No surgeries, no nothing. In fact, she loves it there so much that she just extended her stay for another month.

"But what about her job?" I'd asked him. "Can she really put off working for an entire month and expect to keep it?"

"She doesn't care about her job when she's there, Lilith," he told me. "She doesn't even have a cellphone with her!"

Picturing that made me feel pretty odd. I mean, staying for months on end at a spa in the Swiss Alps, having no contact with the outside world besides some letter writing?

I told him I thought she was being irresponsible. He disagreed.

"She explained in her letter that the people over there are curing her, Lilith. And it's more than just her back––it's her entire life! She's taking time off to finally work on improving herself, not just her career." He then looked me up and down, as if assessing something within me. I remember feeling a bit self conscious as he said, "Maybe it wouldn't hurt if you stayed at this place for a bit too."

My other coworkers chirped in at that, like they always do. You need to relax for a second, Lilith. You need to slow down and relax. They all said it so much that I started hearing it in my head for the rest of the day like some kind of weird mantra.

After work I decided to look the place up some more, but they didn't have much of a website. There was a small bio saying the same things all spas do, a few guidelines on what you should and shouldn't bring, and then a link where you could make an appointment. Nothing about it screamed, Miracles happen here! to me, but if it cured Tim's aunt of her chronic back pain, I could only wonder what the place could do for me.

For the rest of the week I kept the website up in a separate tab, just in case I wanted to click back and make the appointment. And with every day that passed, I seemed to get increasingly more tired––more than usual, at least. I'd go to bed an hour earlier. Then two hours earlier. Then three.

It wasn't until yesterday night, when I found myself wanting to crawl into bed the moment I got home, that I realized how much I needed to make a change. Not necessarily a month long soul-searching style change, but a week of relaxation probably wouldn't hurt. If this place had some kind of cure for me, well, I could use a little bit of it.

So I made the appointment on the website. I purchased the train ticket. I packed a small bag that didn't include my phone or my laptop, and I grabbed it instead of my briefcase this morning. And there I was, slightly late to the station, but on my way to make a change.

Unfortunately, I didn't get the chance to tell any of my coworkers about it, so I imagine they'll be surprised when they show up for work today and find I'm not there. I suppose that's why I'm writing in this journal right now––so I can send it to them near the end of the week or something. They'd surely get a kick out of that.

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