Written by Morgan DeLisle
Edited by Steven Spear, Jr.
I went to a concert
January in Florida is slightly chilly if you’re generous, so I was wearing jeans and a cute jacket while my sisters and I scouted the huge crowd for people we may know who were closer to the front of the line at the arena. There was still an hour until the doors opened when I spotted my best friend’s family sitting pretty in a great spot. Well, my ex-best friend’s family. We hadn’t spoken in months. But we made our way up there anyways because her family loved me and the feelings weren’t bad enough to turn us away. We all got seats together inside as I made sure not to acknowledge her. The third of ten artists came on – a rapper my sisters and I were excited about – and the white-girl dance moves began. I glanced back to where my friend was stuck next to a very southern white boy who wasn’t at all interested in rap and seemed to think it was hilarious that anyone would find it enjoyable. Suddenly everything felt small: all the arguments and hurt feelings and who was right and who was wrong. Because we should be dancing and stumbling through rap songs together. I invited her down to squeeze into our row. Anger never made anyone happier, and making people dance alone at concerts is just cruel.
I got the job
On the fifth of March I found out what team I would be on from June to August for a job I had been given. I would be traveling with almost thirty people around the country running children’s camps. I found out I’d be traveling all the way to Arizona, then hitting Texas, Alabama, Tennessee, Louisiana, Kentucky and several states on the way. I was ecstatic. I’ve traveled outside of the country a little, but I love America and I haven’t seen nearly as much as I wanted. This was huge. I’m pretty sure I screamed a lot that night after the team reveal, and every time anyone asked me about the summer I shared the entire list. This would be the coolest thing I had ever done. Ever.
I flew out at dawn
Then the day finally came. Four thirty in the morning, and the whole world was dark. My family walked me as far as they could in the airport and we exchanged long hugs at the start of the security area. I had never left home for very long. I go to school in my home town, and we are a really close group. But gosh darn it I was going to be strong and get on that plane and rock this summer. So I gave my last hugs, and I turned to walk into the line, hoping I had whatever identification I was supposed to have. I didn’t start to really tear up until I looked back through the glass wall and saw my mom walking to keep me in sight. I brushed the tears away as quickly as I could because I figured if the security people thought I was soft they would find something they wanted in my bag and take it (I was scarred when I tried to fly to Kenya with a full jar of Nutella, and it was taken from me). Holy cow I was scared. But holy cow there was a whole world out there, and it was mine.