Sometimes, when I get the chance, I like to take a walk. Walk with me.
There is something cathartic about a long walk down a quiet path, for those who have the luxury. Near my college, there is a dirtpath which bleeds out into the countryside. When I walk down it I am enveloped in silence, a silence so profound I’ll take the liberty of calling it sublime. There is no sound but my breath and the blowing wind. There’s a small, grassy knoll partway down which is perfect for leaving the path and just standing. And I just stand for ages, because to break the silence with the sound of my footsteps is almost profane. An old friend showed me the path, and looking back now, I can never understand why she’d walk down it plugged into her earphones. Sacrilege.
It’s like stepping into an empty Narnia, utterly devoid of inhabitants except the beauty of nature. It’s a strange sort of high. And it’s at times like this that I find myself able to reflect on my thoughts and dismiss the negative ones, the downers, the ones I don’t really want to think. Normally it takes longer to get myself into a positive mood, as sometimes I feel like I have a strange, mild form of manic depression. Sometimes I’m optimistic and driven, and at other times the apathy is overwhelming. And I am aware, as I always am, that I cannot always step into a physical Narnia to escape negativism. But it helps, during times like this when I find myself slowly, but surely, gravitating towards an optimistic mood. It helps me put my problems in perspective, and realise that while I am going through these things, I should really focus on the word through. It will be over and things will be better.
This positivity is also helped along by other things, of course. In class, we’ve started reading Nigerian literature, and having lived in the country for a time it’s quite funny watching my fellow English students butcher all the names and struggle to understand the stories in context. Everyday comedy is often under-appreciated. Aside from Cambridge, three out of my other four university options have given me offers, which gives me a strange sense of being wanted. I talked to my personal tutor for the first time in a couple of months, and that was a different kind of catharsis in its own way. Things are looking up, and I’ve resolved to remain positive. Even sitting next to a rather annoying person in Philosophy class and enduring the casual ignorant comments on religion in said class don’t seem so bad at the moment. And if I do get a little down, I remember the overwhelming response and support (thanks everyone) I received in my last post.
If you’ve gotten this far, and you feel like dropping a comment: do you have a quiet place you like to go, or a cathartic activity you engage in every now and then?