Prairie thoughts

Last night, I was trying to leave the air-conditioner off as long as possible and let myself and my apartment get too hot. So I was lying on my bed in front of the a/c trying to cool down. And, even though I live alone, sometimes I like to listen to music on headphones, because it's so enveloping. So I was lying there listening to Uncle Tupelo, this song in particular.

And suddenly, I was just crying and crying. It's one of those songs that conjures an entire story for me. Summer 2000, driving around the prairies. The boundlessness of that landscape overwhelming me, something so wholly new and almost elating. Knowing it would drive me crazy if I stayed there too long, but getting high on it because I knew we would ultimately turn around and drive back into the foothills, where I lived, and see the Rockies looming up before me.

We were probably driving a car that one of our professors loaned us in exchange for me cleaning her apartment. But it was okay to be dirt poor at that time, because, like the openess of the prairie, it was something I knew I'd turn around from. I was getting a masters degree and then I'd get a job and then everything would be different. I'd be able to afford nicer things and make a home and maybe meet a boy. Every house I liked and thing I saw had potential written all over it. It all seemed so possible.

And I think I was crying because I don't feel any of that certainty any more. I've lost that cocksure faith in the future. And perhaps because I stayed at university longer than most of my friends and then embarked on all this moving around, that way of thinking got locked into me. So, now that I've stopped in one place, I don't really know how to be. And I miss that easy, confident version of myself sitting in that car, enveloped by the prairie.

And I think I was crying because aren't we supposed to gain confidence as we get older? So, why do I seem to be losing it all the time?

Photo from my Flickr, see larger here
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