Ready

Not sad enough. Next.
Not in the mood. Next.
Too lovey-dovey.
I can’t cry to this.
Next.

My pointer finger repeatedly presses the double arrow pointing right until my ears are satisfied. I search for a specific song, but I don’t know exactly what song it is that I want until I find it. Some songs are too country, other too poppy and some just plain too indy. From local hip hop to classic holiday, the spread of musical taste makes it difficult to find something to match my mood, and, even as my finger grows weary, I continue with my pursuit.

The long sun prepares for its exit from the day, leaving the sky golden with a hint of orange next the land. The rolling hills, which are a sparkling green due to a rainy spring, complements the endless gray highway as I trudged along its path.

Once my iPod lands on a song to fit of my needs, I burst into tears. I let the emotional buildup of four days pour out of me and am a bit surprised it’s not fiercer. Still, I sob on and off for 40 miles.

The scene, or at least the one I described, resembles something out of a cult classic from the 80s. The protagonist is running from something but will soon discover what she is looking for amongst that hot, dusty road. It’s cheesy and a bit over the top, but that’s my personality.

This little faux cinematic moment came shortly after leaving Sioux Falls and saying one final goodbye to friends, including three of my closest. Up until that moment, I had done a very good job of keeping the tears in and not soaking the earth below me with my salty tears. I tried to not let anyone see me cry, and except for my mother, I succeeded. After these goodbyes, I knew that I needed to let some emotion out before I forgot how to do it.

As I cried, I let the feelings pass through me as they needed. I didn’t accelerate them with “oh, this was my last blah blah” or pollute them with “I should have said blah blah to So-and-So.” I just cried.

Eventually, the tears dried and so did my somber attitude. I didn’t feel sad anymore. There was no grievance, anxiety, disappointment, jealousy or any other nasty, useless emotion. Just stillness.

Thoughts of Niger and this new life began to play in my head and excitement sprouted. The possibility of adventure, change and happiness ignited an optimism that I haven’t possessed since I received my invitation. This feels right, I said to myself once the tear ducts were bone dry.

My life has turned another direction today, and I feel like skipping. Nothing haunts me at this moment, something I haven’t been able to claim in months. Sure, I do feel sad, but it’s one of the happiest sads I’ve experienced.

With this state of mind, fear and anxieties are subdued. I am not sure what’s coming out of my car stereo, but I have found the right and perfect tune.

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