Written by: Morgan Blair, founder and creative director of Unpolished Journey
It’s cold outside. Everyone and their brother could agree with that. It hurts to breathe, like a million needles being stuck into the pores on my cheeks. I try holding my breath, but the air sends me into a whirlwind of dizzy thoughts and upside down sensations. I take a breath in and try to deal with the needles in my cheeks and the sharpness of my throat. I hate it. I hate it. I hate it. I repeat this mantra over and over in my head while dreaming of my warm bed with the heater sitting on my dresser. I should have never left today. Then again, I know I did the right thing opening that door and stepping into the winter.
Left. Right. Left. Right. I have to pay attention. The slick icy sidewalks don’t help. I envision myself slipping, falling, breaking my tailbone, and being housebound for the next couple of weeks. Wouldn’t necessarily be the worst thing in the world. Although this newfound world of unemployment has given me a taste of that and it is maddening. You sit there with your own thoughts, silence, nothing but the sound of the music coming from your iPhone to keep you from losing your mind. Then, there’s the fun of it. Reading, painting, taking long restful naps. It isn’t all bad, getting to spend your days how you want.
Where am I even going? The truth is I don’t know. I just started walking. Suddenly everything felt like too much and the only relief came from the idea of stabbing needles of cold air into my face and letting the icy sidewalks concentrate my thoughts.
I wanted to take a walk.
A walk, where I could stare at the sidewalk and run, metaphorically, from all that was suffocating me inside the walls of my apartment. There are days when everything feels fresh. A new sunrise and sunset, new possibilities, new obstacles. The day feels like a game to be played, a game to be enjoyed. Then, there are days when this game becomes too challenging. You want to call it quits but whoever is manning the controllers continues going. You can’t stop. So, you put on your coat and you take a walk. A walk to nowhere. A walk to clear the space between you and the controller. To create some distance, my therapist calls it.
I don’t know if it is distance or the simple act of being human. I don’t think it is unusual to have moments of overwhelm. I don’t think that my diagnosis determines my humanity. I can, in fact, find commonality in my behaviors alongside those I know who aren’t a little unbalanced in their heads.
It’s called living.
Left. Right. Left. Right. And, I continue down the sidewalk.