Walking By

Walking By

I see you walking by me⁣

Lady with the little sapling in her cart⁣

Man in the blue baseball cap ⁣

Lady in the khaki slats and summer sandals⁣

Nurse in the purple scrubs with a stethoscope

around your neck⁣

I see all of you, walking,

walking freely without having to think

about how you're walking, how fast you're walking,

how far you're walking ⁣

I used to walk fast.

I used to walk faster than most people I knew. ⁣

I remember long ago, was it only 7 years? It feels like a lifetime. ⁣

I remember seven years ago going for a walk

with a friend. He wanted to stroll aimlessly

across campus, no destination in mind. ⁣

And he challenged me to walk slow.

To see if I could allow my body to slow down,

and relax into a leisurely stroll. ⁣

I couldn't do it. ⁣

I really struggled. ⁣

As I forced myself to take the

slowest of strides, I felt everything in my body

rebelling against this alien pace. ⁣

Several moments later, I would speed up and

he would tell me to slow down. ⁣

I always had the urge to move fast.

To not waste time.

To race from A to B as quickly as possible. ⁣

This was hard for me.

But I continued to match

myself to his slow gait.

Seven years later, I have to walk even slower

than that unbearably slow stroll

through UBC's campus. ⁣

I am a thirty year old woman who walks

like an ancient, crippled being.

And I have to watch everyone else pass me by. ⁣

I have to watch them take their ability

to walk with speed for granted,

just like I took it for granted. ⁣

They will never know how torturous it feels,

to look like you should be able to do

what they can do, but know that your body

just can't keep up. ⁣

What a different life.

So alone in what I now know. ⁣ ⁣

From the vault | May 30, 2018 | 3:06pm