don’t let the world change how you walk

I was walking through the mud. Balancing on the more solid strip between two large furrows of sloshiness.

A man was walking his dog and had paused to look at the view. I gave him a socially-distanced smile, passed him and carried on walking. But I was aware he was still watching me – not in an intense way, just as a casual observer.

This did funny things to my feet.

I started trying to balance more carefully. I felt more concerned about toppling over, about sliding around and stumbling. The irony of this was that the anxiety made my legs wobble more, not less.

I was no longer walking naturally.

As I frowned, something inside me piped up: don’t let the world change how you walk.

And I lifted up my chin. Who cares if he was watching me? And who cares if I got muddy, for that matter?

The wobbliness left me, the self consciousness dissolved.

And I walked in the way I wanted.

By Lucy Hannah Mills

Lucy is a writer and artist. She is author of Forgetful Heart and Undivided Heart - published by DLT books (UK) and Augsberg Books (US/Canada). She is a mixed media artist with a particular interest in acrylics and feltmaking.

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