Even the moments when I wasn't at the conference allowed me time to do some introspection about my misophonia, and reflect upon how it's affected my life over the years - even before I knew what I had was an actual medical condition. Typically, these thoughts occured in the wee hours of the morning, when my body woke me up shortly before the sun was about to rise. It was during those quiet moments, when I sat on my hotel room's balcony listening to the ocean's waves and watching the early morning light pierce the dark night's sky, that I thought about what I learned in the various classes, keynote speeches, and even in general conversation with some of the other writers.
Many people with whom I shared my story were very intrigued about misophonia - some even commented how the condition seemed very similar to the sensitivities by other people they knew. At the end of the conference, I even had a conversation with one of the volunteers who suggested I look into some special teas including: Camomille (one that I do enjoy), "Tension Tamer" (I think I may have had that one once), as well as something called Valarian tea. I will admit that I am more of a tea drinker than coffee, so if it might help me cut some of the edge off of the triggers, I will certainly try it.
I will say that something funny happened during the last couple of hours at the conference, when I had dinner at one of the restaurants recommended by the shuttle driver when I first arrived. The restaurant was located right on the edge of the ocean and I was able to watch one last sunset over the water before heading back to the frigid weather of the Midwest. Sitting there in the last few warm rays of the sun, listening to the ocean hit the rocks was very relaxing and my mind started flowing with many ideas for the book - memories of times that I hadn't thought about in years. I knew I had to write everything down in my little black book before I forgot. Just as I was finishing up my dessert and jotting down a few more thoughts, one of the hostesses came over to me and asked about what it's like to be a critic. I can certainly see why she made the assumption that I was a food critic, since I was eating alone at a nice restaurant and writing in a little black book, but that was definitely a first for me. (I've traveled alone a great deal when attending conferences or other business trips.) I explained to her that I was there for a conference, but if I had been a food critic, they would've gotten high marks across the board for food, service, and atmosphere. It was the perfect way to end my trip. I hope to do it again next year!