This one starts as so many others do, with the weight of the universe.
Except it’s not some giant lead weight that sits awkwardly on your shoulders, it’s more like a thick viscous liquid that pours down on you from everywhere and covers you in a weight so thick that it’s a struggle to breathe.
You could collapse down to the ground but your legs twitch as you strain to hold yourself, and this weight, up.
Days pass like this and it’s all you can do to struggle with breath holding yourself up under the viscous universe and slowly you start to make agreements with yourself because no matter how hard you try you can’t get out from under the weight, it envelopes you.
These agreements are a way of coping, they’re your last resort. ”I can do this,” you tell yourself, “I can hold out a little longer.”
Soon, you learn to accept the weight as you realize that no matter what you try, it won’t go away.
It gets a little easier to bear as the weeks pass, you learn to adapt and soon you can move your legs, just a little, but with every shuffling step you’ve gotten a little farther, if only just inches.
You’ve decided that you have to move, you have to get there, wherever there is. The weight is still there but you’re shuffling feet instead of inches every day.
You’re closer but there are still miles to go and you know this and sometimes it breaks you but every time you stop the weight seems to get heavier so you just keep shuffling.
Months pass, you’ve grown stronger, you can now hold your shoulders a bit higher and sometimes you can pick up your feet and take a real step, most of the time it still hurts too much though.
You know when you’ve had enough and you’ve learned to pace yourself, save those small steps for when you need them, it’s ok to shuffle your feet as long you keep moving forward.
You grow stronger and stronger with every passing day and soon the steps, once relegated to minor occurrences become regular.
It’s become a habit for you to keep pushing yourself against the pain, partly because when it hurts it’s a thrill, partly because you know there’s no way in hell you’re going to stop.
Soon you find yourself able to walk, the weight has become normal now, it’s been there for months it’s nothing new. It’s just that thing you live with but you can walk.
You’re not so slumped over anymore, You can hold your head up and look forward.
In the distance you can see a tiny glimmer of light and it’s the point you’ve come to dream about, that small point in the overwhelming darkness.
You walk toward the light, that small glimmer and you focus on it as if it were the answer to everything.
Soon you’re standing, you’re able to walk normally and you carry this weight like you were born to do it.
After long days your feet burn and ache from the weight and you can sit down and you can rest because you know you have it in you to stand back up and keep walking toward that shining something.
You don’t think so much about the weight anymore, it’s just this thing you have, this thing you can’t get rid of but it’s not a big deal because you make progress everyday.
Months pass and you’re faster on your feet now, not so much running, although you’ll get there, but for now it’s just a quick pace and you can see that the light ahead of you has opened up a little, it’s bigger and that means you’re getting closer.
Day after day, you walk. Further some days than others, sometimes you remember the weight on your back and you think about why it’s there, how it got there and what exactly you could have done to stay out of its way.
Things are the way they are though, there’s nothing you can do to change any of it.
You carry it earnestly now, stoically as if it was some cursed gift from above.
Some days, you’re able to jog for a little while before the pain in your feet comes and the light is getting bigger, it’s only a matter of time now.
Soon you’ve found a good pace with your jog, not too fast that the pain comes but fast enough to know you’re making progress, the light gets bigger everyday, soon, you can see that it’s an opening, it’s like you’re in some pitch dark train tunnel walking miles upon miles toward the opening but you’re getting there, and that alone gives you hope.
You jog everyday, day after day, week after week.
You’re getting real sick and fucking tired of all of this, the weight, the fact that you only get a little bit closer everyday.
You want more, you think you can do more, you think you can get there faster and one day you start to run.
The running is a liberation. It feels amazing to know you’re moving faster than ever.
The opening gets bigger and bigger and you run until you can’t bear it anymore.
There’s still so far to go. You’ve done this for years now though, you can fight, you can push yourself until you’re sick, you know you can do this.
It seems you’ve been moving for ages now all while carrying this weight that you were barely able to hold before.
You can see the trees, you can see the fog covered forest through the opening, the tracks below that lead to somewhere but you’ve made it so far.
Mere days pass and through sheer strength of will finally you’ve made it to the opening. All that’s left now is finding your way home.