When You Walk Away

When you walk away, walk slowly.

Walk so that the person you’re leaving has those extra few seconds. “Wait!” They might say, “Come back!” But you walked away too fast and now you can’t hear them.

You would have gone back. You would have been happy with just one more talk, one more last-ditch effort, one more last melt-into-each-other look. You would have been happy to know that, because you walked away slowly, you gave yourself the chance to think it through, to assess, to be absolutely – as sure as people can be sure about things – positive that walking away is the right thing, the only thing to do.

When you walk away, walk slowly. Go down every other path in your mind carefully, right to the end, before your feet have made their own decision and you’re already too far to find your way back.
old jetty walkway pier the the lake

When I walk away, I walk quickly. I’ve always walked away quickly. I’ve always run, sprinted, raced, careened from decision to decision, person to person, disaster to disaster. I’ve always run and so I was not there when he needed someone to tell him to put the goddamn shotgun down. I wasn’t there when he got his diagnosis. I wasn’t there when she realized there was a way to make it all better.

I lost out on all of the moments I should have had with them because I ran. Walking would have given me time to consider. Walking would have let my mind catch up to my body. I would still have walked away – maybe, possibly, probably – but I would have been thoughtful. You cannot be mindful or thoughtful or careful when you are running.

Time will slow enough for you to be thoughtful, for you to be mindful, for you to be careful. Recklessness feels so much more alive, I know, but there is value in deliberate, poised action. There is value in slow.

When you walk away, walk slowly.

2 comments… add one

  • Roger Jackson

    This is so good! So full of feeling and honesty, I love it! 🙂

    • HeatherWriting

      Thank you. I so rarely expose that much raw emotion in such a public sphere. 🙂

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