I feel old lately.
The weeks have not been kind to my body. Every day I feel more and more pain with every step I take. The spasms in my legs have been getting worse and I do not know why this is. I do not know how to stop it, how to ease it.
I lift my left foot, feel a blissful second where there is no pain, and feel it shoot up my leg like knifes or needles when I step down again. Every time I take a step there is pain and when I am not walking my legs are spasming.
I feel like I cannot win, as if I’m in a race against something I can’t see. I wonder if I finish the race, if I let my body rip through that piece of ribbon at the finish line, whether or not the pain will cease. But how can I race something I cannot see?
It’s like I’m wearing glass slippers, except that they’re broken; they’re sharp shards and slivers of slick silver that slide into my skin with each step. I know how Cinderella felt but how did she stand to walk in such uncomfortable shoes?
I massage my legs at work, hoping that it might help, that the next time I take a step or have to stand up, my legs won’t cry out in protest.
I’ve been praying a lot lately. Not to God, not religious praying. Not in that sense. I’ve just been praying for the pain to stop, even for an instant, so that I can breathe in again, so that I can breathe out.
I feel old inside my body. But I will not let my legs take me down. I will not let their complaints bring me to a darker place.
I will envision myself like a leaf going through change: dark green to brilliant orange. Brilliant orange to a deep rust. Deep rust to a gorgeous red. And when I fall away from the tree to land softly on the ground, I will finally be able to wear something other than glass slippers.