When I started this project, this 1,000 Miles in 2014 challenge, my only intention was to walk for victims and survivors of painful abusive pasts (and present), to be a voice for them, to walk in their honor and memory. I wanted to raise awareness and money along the way, but first and foremost, I wanted to push myself in a way that forced me to focus and remember and act and do.
Then came the idea to write about each walk. And it was going well.
And then it wasn’t.
I fell behind. During a bout of financial issues wherein we lost our Internet service for over a week, all in the middle of a struggle to find my balance with school and work and life, I fell behind on the letters. The words were with me as I walked, but the time and effort to sit down and write them out would not be. I made attempts to catch up, but the truth is, it became overwhelming.
Then I just couldn’t catch up. It became this heaviness I carried with me each day. This need to sit and perform. Every to-do list carried this one: Write Letters for Scars and Tiaras. Then, when I couldn’t fit it in, the guilt and pressure became even heavier. My mind began to wander when walking — from thoughts and prayers for the person I was walking for, to guilty thoughts about not having time to write their letters, and I have to write their letters because I wrote the other letters and now they will feel like I don’t care and then they might miss the point of the walk! Or, as the case really seemed to be, I was beginning to miss the point.
The point? Ah yes, just walking the miles, concentrating thoughts and prayers and hopes and love toward the person I was walking for. The letters were a last-minute idea. Not a bad idea, but an extra idea, one that quickly became more busy work and less action work for the task at hand.
And so, with peace — sweet whispers carried through new spring bird calls and loving caresses from gentle blowing winds — I felt the need to let go of that idea. To return with the original enthusiasm to simply walk the miles, to share the who and how far, and to leave it at that.
The challenge was never about making busy work for myself or shining a spotlight on how sweet or kind or motivating my words could be toward each person. The challenge was love-based, awareness-based, and action-based, and I am returning to that now.