I used to walk fast.
I’d always be at the head of the crew, passing people left and right. If I walked anywhere by myself, which is how I often walked, I could weave in and out of crowds seamlessly and swiftly. I was never the guy to lag behind; no, I was a leader. 

I used to walk fast. Life passed by in a blur, like a tree line through the window of a moving vehicle. I made it from point A to point B as quickly as possible, stopping for nothing. I loved the way the wind stirred my trench coat in the wake of my rushing. Long legs carry a lot of distance with them. I was the phantom, moving here and there as quick as sight.

I used to walk fast, but I’m learning to slow down. O, how much we miss in life when our focus is the destination and not the journey. I never really tried to walk fast, it just became part of me, of who I was. It wasn’t that I didn’t care about the people and problems I’d pass on my way to places, I just never really stopped to think about them. I walked fast because my priority was me. Now there have been times when walking fast was useful to take me away from a potentially awkward confrontation, or when I passed by Victoria’s Secret in the mall. In those times, turning away my head and simply breezing by was a one-step solution.

I used to walk fast, it made me somehow different, cooler, more classy than others. The way I led, the stragglers I passed, the people simply standing as I raced by: I loved the show. There was never a thought for those standing still, those walking slower than I, or those following after. True, I would occasionally glance back to see the reactions, to make sure the crew was still visible, and I’d smile, feeling somehow accomplished. Superiority of step is what I had, my stride was long and firm, the mark of a gentleman. 

I used to walk fast, until I stopped to notice those along my path. As I tramped by I was stamping my mark of unconcern on their lives with the heel of a size 12 shoe. It really wasn’t that I didn’t notice before, I simply didn’t care or have time before. I’m starting to slow down: see a little more beauty, make a few new friends, see life in a different light.

I still walk fast, but when rushing to the aid of someone else, to open a door, lend a hand, be of service. I walk to avoid conversations of menial, inciting, and disruptive natures. I walk to catch up rather than to leave behind. I walk to reach the vantage point to see the best view. I walk to serve others and not self. 

I used to walk fast… but I’m beginning to slow down. The world is not a treadmill, the faster I walk, the further I get from people, from things, from what matters. I could leave it all in the dust, but my walking is not for myself anymore. I’m enjoying the journey until I reach my destination.

As always, thanks for reading.

–the anonymous novelist

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