I never close my curtains. I pace back and forth in my room. When I was little, I found my grandpa utterly fascinating, his routine, his style, his calm manner and the faded tattoo on his hand. My grandpa would pace along his house; he would lean his head forward with his arms behind his back, hands held together—the two body parts that stayed still. Through observation came imitation. I find myself with my arms behind my back, hands held, hoping that mimicking old habits in reminiscence will cure my shallow breaths.
I left my house at night; my room suddenly felt too trapped. There was a cool breeze as I ventured through, trying to muster calm, steady breaths. Motion allows me to venture away from internalized thoughts that run in blurred circles. The air is brisk, the streets are empty. I am able to find a few stars in the sky. I can’t stop the physical movement. I want to be further.
I have found that age is not linear, but rather an accumulation of all our different stages and motions in the passage of our lives. I think of young me a lot more than I used to, because she did not realize how strong she was. She calmed her rapid exhales, racing thoughts through soft chants into the pillow and other words that felt holy. Instead of escape, she found refuge in a fabricated, yet safe world softly spoken into tan sheets.