Flying home on a very packed plane, I slip in my earbuds and turn my iPod to Ingrid Michaelson, wishing to hell I had that album we listened to in the car last night. I close my eyes and find that place somewhere between sleep and daydreams and images of recent memories, of the last week, of last night montage behind my eyelids. I smile despite myself. It's a sweet moment, one of complicated feelings full of excitement and sadness, hope and disappointment. The kind of feelings when something new and exhilarating is set aside for something old and tired.
I gather my things and follow the long line of tired people from plane to terminal. Suddenly, as I step into old places, I am the old me again. The me who is stressed, who feels kind of old and who will soon join the daily grind once again. I'd like to turn around, take the magic back somehow. To be someone delighted again, where "every part of me is amazing." To taste a delicious moment and hold it on my tongue as long as possible, the taste of it lingering as it melts.
And yet, the magic is not all gone. It lingers in bits and pieces, scents and sounds. And I can't help but feel unabashed hope. For the first time in a long time, excitement nibbles my ears and tickles my toes. Happiness is a lone finger tracing the contours of my face. Happiness is a chill wind ripe with possibility. It is air dense with fog collecting on my eyelashes and cooling my cheeks. It is scalding coffee and peals of laughter in the air. Happiness is something hoped for, yet unexpected, a surprise without a red bow. Happiness is an encounter infinitely better than a decadent dream.
I can't help but hold onto all that. I clicked with so many different things in Portland, to say the least. As I sat drinking margaritas with Morgan and Corey this evening, recounting all that happened. I couldn't help but catch the contagion of Morgan's effusive giggles and squeals for me. Morgan is having a love affair with Portland (yes, her boyfriend knows) and tonight we all saw each other there, living different lives than those we live today. Excitement sizzled and crackled in the air.
So at this point, whatever the universe throws at me, I'll take. Big changes are coming.
So watch out for this girl.