I left my bed this morning to finally do what I’d been planning to do for months, to go for a walk. It sounds simple enough; nothing that a pair of shoes can’t handle, a jacket maybe if it’s cold outside. But it also needs some willpower, which quite often seems to be lost in a slumber of its own, sleeping through alarms and hours spent scrolling on the phone. So what happened differently today? I could romanticize it and say that I got a moment of some great epiphany, and decided to turn my life around starting with a pumped morning jog while listening to some amazingly inspirational workout music. But my phone was at 11% battery, and the only clean track pants I had didn’t have any pockets (why don’t they make any pockets?) The spurious thoughts of crawling back into that warm bed tingled me again, but then my willpower decided to let go of its dreams and made me tie up my shoes instead.
So I stepped outside on a stretch of concrete on the backside of my apartment complex, you can’t take a fulfilling walk on a road, let’s be real. The boundary lets off on an empty stretch of land, lots of fresh air, and gulping down deep breaths made me feel pretty renewed (finally figured out what those yoga trainers keep talking about). Now, next part was doing the actual work, walking. I’d seen people doing that, so what you do is that you walk really fast and move your arms along really aggressively, almost like commanding all that arm fat to fall down on the ground, it makes sense too, you’ve come out to walk and you should get the most out of it. So I took a shot at doing the whole “aggressive brisk-walking” routine, but I felt rather comical, so I checked that off the list. Next up in line was jogging, well yeah it doesn’t look weird, who am I kidding, you look active and sporty, and smart and successful! So I took off for a jog. Five minutes later I realized that it also makes you look sweaty and smelly, and also like your breath is caught up somewhere behind you running fast to catch up.
Barely ten minutes had passed and I was wondering again about what to do. Well I’d put on my running shoes after a month (pink, really sporty), and I was wearing my favourite socks (with ducks) and I can’t let all that effort go to waste. I’d come outside to take a walk, and I figured that’s exactly what I’d do, take a walk. So I plunged my hands into the pockets of my sweatshirt, and I started walking up and down the path. The sun still hung low in the sky, a mellowed ball of orange and red, reminding me of my first rubber “crazy” ball my dad had got me back when I must have been no older than 3. I heard the birds chirp and I saw them too, flying over my head in bunches of four and six. Birds always fly in a pattern, have you ever noticed that? I turned for another round and the sun was a little higher up than before, a little less mellowed.
A lot of thoughts were bubbling in my head, things to write about, next big step to take, when a sweet smell of early morning flowers drew me to their wake, a small one was lying on the ground, so I picked it up and nestled it on the inside of my palm. The newspaper boy was walking his bike around the building, trying not to waste extra fuel or maybe because he liked his mornings quiet too, or maybe he just liked going at his own pace. I turned around for another round and the sun was higher up still, this time turning yellow. This walk was really doing good things to me, away from the people, the conversations, the success stories, the notifications, the grind. I say, everyone should do it, or whatever else that makes them unwind. I could still romanticize my amblings at the back of my apartment complex, but I wouldn’t. I can just share with you some thoughts I had for my own selfish reasons.
A lot of life philosophies you decide to follow come from your own circumstances in life, and while circumstances can’t be helped, they can be managed. A vital lesson of growing up indeed. I’m not the first one to point out how looking at other people making it big or getting somewhere in their lives makes one feel inadequate if not worried about where one is going. While hustling and struggling for whatever it is one dreams of doing is important, it is also important to note that everyone goes at their own pace. You don’t have to validate your journey by comparing it to where others are on their own. Remember your favourite character from that book/movie/TV show? Where would they be if they worried too much about what rest of the characters were doing?
We’ve grown up with an idea of checkpoints one needs to cross at certain stages in one’s life, and while crossing those checkpoints is important, it’s not necessary to cross them at a time when society deems it necessary. Now don’t get me wrong, if you already have, then more power to you! And if you haven’t, relax, you’ll get there, and not at all if you don’t want to, do your own thing!
Life can be pretty daunting sometimes. More so if you feel like you’re lagging behind. While there’s no getting around to doing the work, it sure becomes a lot inspiring if you’re putting your energy in the direction you want to go to, if you’re painting the picture you dream (for lack of a better metaphor). So if you’re reading this, and can relate to this no matter where you are in your life, and feel even a little bit at ease, I consider my job done. And if not, well then next time maybe?
As to my sojourns at the morning walk, I decided to head back when I started hearing the sounds of another day of work, bike engines starting, mixers whirring, showers and taps running. I turned around and saw the sun up in the sky, this time gold and shining, and walked back to my building. I had things to do too.
An idle rambler