In the forest each footfall is a dichotomy.
I hate this / I love this.
I'm weak / I'm strong.
I'm struggling /I'm flying.
I'm sobbing / I'm giggling.
I'm hurting /I'm high.
Mostly, though, I'm free.
No one on this mountain knows my name.
This is the only place I get to be anonymous.
Just another Nike hat with earbuds.
I'm no longer Amanda Penelope Westmont.
No longer that crazy blond writer woman.
Nobody's mother. Nobody's lover. Nobody's daughter.
Nobody's home-wrecker. Nobody's ex.
Nobody but me.
All body. All mind. All matter.
All me. The best me.
There are no walls in the forest.
No boxes for me to squeeze myself into.
The forest IS my box.
And when I pass the five-mile marker,
I've come far enough to see that this is where I really live.
And there is only one me.
This is the same me I give to my children.
To my family. To My People. To my partners.
As fast as my feet can take me.
But when I need to have me all to myself,
I'll be in the forest.