It seems that through every hour of darkness, every moment of utter defeat, and every period of my life where I’ve felt at my lowest, I found solace in walking.
I maintained my sanity through long walks at night to be left alone with my thoughts. It didn’t matter where my destination was or whether or not anyone saw me all alone. “What a loser,” someone must have thought to himself as I walked around the lonely, quiet neighborhood. I can’t blame anyone for thinking that because at the time I sure felt like a loser.
The moment the clock hit 8 p.m., I took off into the night without any explanation to anyone. I dropped what I was doing, headed out the door, and returned an hour after. I always managed to return with a content smile on my face.
Forming the Ritual
Years passed since my last tragedy and I had gotten rid of that nightly ritual. I found myself no longer needing walks to keep my sanity. Why? I realized how great my friends were and began to emotionally invest in the “overpowered” group for support.
Over time, walking just soon became embedded into what we did. Sure, we were too young to drive back then, so we didn’t really have much of a choice, but we loved every minute of it.
A close friend and I spent two hours walking to the mall and while we did it, we just talked about anything that came up no matter how personal and secret it was. Walking taught us to embrace the moments of silence. It taught us to let go of our worries and just focus on the present. These sorts of walks kept us sane and we tried our best to take advantage of walks as much as we could.