I used to walk with colleagues on my way home, around a 30-minute walk. Imagine doing that every day, yes?
But sometimes, I have to walk alone, and the journey is way different from having someone with me.
Because instead of casually walking with your mind running free in conversations, walking alone forces your mind to hear yourself aloud. And when your internal narrative constricts your head space to only think about reaching your destination, the journey becomes a chore.
Everything is a blur when you walk past them. Your legs feel like they’ve been doing the same thing again and again without finding their resolution. When will I ever arrive? And you even think it harder to breathe as you keep up with the voice in your head that seems to become faster and faster than your feet are taking you.
The experience became far from enjoyable, and I thought about changing my perspective when walking alone.
So, one day, I walked that 30-minute walk again, but this time, I chose to be more present at the moment. And I even try to be as unhurried as possible by looking at the things happening around me. I learned to listen intently to the chirping. I even stopped by a river to get that pause that my mind seemed to fail at the moment. I looked at the plants and the trees, pet the cats I walked by, and looked at the people I came across.
I became more present while walking, just like I would have been when someone was with me.