It was pretty dark when I got to the halfway point in the woods tonight. There are girls in the right-hand side of the picture, I swear.
It’s starting to feel weirdly homely in the woods. The only time I think about walking in the opposite direction when I leave the house now is if I feel the need to do an (almost exactly) 2-mile walk, or if it’s pitch black outside and I can’t walk through the woods.
Even if it’s dusk-y, I’ll head up to the woods. Even if it means getting eaten by midgies. It’s peaceful and calming and it smells good and I get a few raspberries on the way out. What’s not to love?
When I was walking to The Water Palace the other night for the first time in ages (since the Trial Run at the start of the month, I believe?) I was halfway up Burnbank Road when some fucking idiot rat bastard driving past hung halfway out of his car and yelled something at me.
Luckily, I had my armour on: Superman visor; headphones, and music loud enough that I can’t hear a goddamn thing that’s going on around me in any great detail; hoodie. I didn’t hear what he shouted. But I was the only person on the pavement. Not only that, but it was a Boy Racer car, and I’m a Fat Girl. It was obviously aimed at me.
In that instance, my armour didn’t help. Every car that passed after that, I tried to shrink inside myself: pulled my arms close to my body, hands shoved in my pocket, head down with my eyes looking at the pavement instead of head up and looking ahead of me; shocks of panic and anxiety going down my legs every time a car passed. Trying not to have a panic attack on the street by controlling my breathing. It took me until I got to The Water Palace and I’d sat down for five minutes and had a drink and tweeted about it that I stopped shaking.
In the woods? None of that. Any of the guys I’ve ever passed have smiled at me when I’ve smiled at them when we’ve passed. (And yes, I’m one of those weird people who, despite her anxiety issues with people in general, will smile at most people she passes, especially in places like that, where not a lot of people go.) I don’t get persecuted in there, for some reason. Maybe I’ve just not been doing it long enough yet. Maybe the assholes only drive, and don’t walk. Maybe I’ve just not been in the woods on the right day yet.
But it’s swiftly becoming my safe haven. A comfortable blanket. I can go in there and just walk and think, and yell at the trees when they start shaking in the wind just as I pass by and they give me a heart attack.
Or yell at the spiders who put their webs right at face-height. WHO DOES THAT?! Honestly. Somebody has to have words with that Peter Parker.
But yeah. I honestly thought about not going out for a walk tonight. And when it got to 7.30pm, it was still in my head, and I thought, “I’ll feel worse if I don’t go out than if I do go out.” And I was right. After going out and walking and eating a couple of raspberries on the way home (thanks, Nature! You’re awesome for providing free snacks for walkers.) my head was clearer and I felt better and my chest felt clearer.
It feels like when I was going to Spinning and I felt terrible for missing Spinning.
(p.s. I still feel terrible that I’m not going to Spinning. I need to go back so badly!)
I know that it was only supposed to be an August-long challenge, but my #GoTheDist challenge continues until the end of the year. I don’t have to go back to my wee walks. I know I can do the longer ones now. I can intersperse the long walks with the wee walks, so long as I continue doing one every day.
And that’ll be fine. That’ll be all that matters.
Speaking of which, I don’t think I’ve filled in my form since about April…