Her morning was marked by sipping tepid coffee, pacing herself alongside the bitterness easing through the brew. She drummed a beat on fingertips, mimicked by the swishing of an otherwise immobile cat's tail giving disdain in waves like the heat threatened to do while the morning cool burned away. It only took a shift. It was like shifting weight from one leg to another. It was an adjustment, like carrying groceries in one hand but needing to switch hands to fish out a key to gain entrance to an earned respite. Her perspective shifted and like a cloak, this new idea removed the burden from her life and the weight of it's release eased through tension heavy shoulders.
In the moment after the last gulp of her now bitter swill, she decided the weight of expectations was never her burden unless she wanted to carry it.
An unbidden flood of memories rushed through her crumbling walls and hushed consternated queries of "what do I do with what I've been given?" the decay gave way to new life. Tendrils of growing vines lifted her to a place of green buds and delicate leaves. The words were emboldened with release and here she found peace and joy . . . With moments of earned laughter. Looking past the wall of judges is where she found grace.
When she tried to look back, she saw she was no longer there and in that past, all that was left was her pity.
She was asked repeatedly to justify her choices until one day she noticed a beaten and battered bit of sludge at her feet. She lifted it carefully, and tried to dust it off and asked no one in particular, "Did someone leave this little fuck here? It can't be mine. I came with none and have none to give you."