How does it feel?

That’s a snazzier title for a blog post than “Untitled.”

Times have been hard. Excruciatingly hard. Do-not-want-to-get-out-of-bed-in-the-morning hard. But I keep getting out of bed in the morning, every morning, until the day that I don’t.

I am very tired. And now that my birthday has just passed, I am also very old.

Tiffany Pollard

The above meme has strangely become my life’s motto. Sadly, I’m not as aggressive as New York—the television personality or the place of my birth—but I got up this morning, and the morning before that. I paid a couple of bills. I had some tea.

Okay, I had lots of tea.

All my clothes fit again. Chunks of weight have fallen by the wayside as parts of my life have been stripped from me—love, home, career. I have muscles in places that were soft before, sinew sparking to life with each box hauled and each hill climbed. I hike a lot, in the hopes that I can somehow walk my way out of my troubles. Truthfully, I’m probably asking for it given my penchant for routes that I assume black people don’t take often—given how often the police take an interest in me.

Tiny, and yet apparently very dangerous.

I wave cheerfully to everyone I encounter to avoid becoming the next Twitter hashtag. Silly, because not one of those souls was extinguished due to a lack of amiableness. And doing so distracts me from the crunch of pine cones beneath my feet and the magical way sunlight filters through the leaves. If only I could figure out a way to walk forever, a part of nature and yet apart from it.

I get up earlier as my workouts get longer—15 minutes, 30, 45, 60, an hour and 15.

I am of a mind to read Walden again, this time in earnest as an instruction manual of sorts and not hastily flipped through for a school assignment. I’m at a point where I’m required to start life over but would rather retire from it entirely. I reflect on white faces in articles, men and women who have walked away from Wall Street and onto farms and into artisanal [insert object here] franchises and wonder if I can do the same. Is it feasible for a woman in a much lower tax bracket? Is it feasible for a woman walking through life alone?

I don’t hear kind words often. I hear harsh ones frequently. But I’m here.

Until I find someplace else to be.