“…And when somebody knows you well, there’s no comfort like that. And when somebody needs you, well there’s no drug like that.”  -  Heather Nova 

I was driving home this evening, listening to a “mix tape” cd from the first years after college. Overcome with emotion and thought, I pulled off the highway to the first Caribou Coffee shop I found and sat down to type it all through. The music, provoked something within me.

First Staind’s, “True Colors,” flooded my interior with an emotional plea. I remember downloading that song and listening during rainy nights at my first apartment in Winona, Minnesota. My significant other at the time and I had a mutual love for dark, brooding artists. Layne Staley, Dave Matthews and Aaron Lewis illuminated our sparsely furnished apartment with songs that humored our sometimes somber side. He wrote poems, while I struggled with the beginnings of LiveJournal and GirlmeetsGeek. At 22, I felt elated to have the freedom to make my own way and I was in a stage of very young, beautifully-blind love.

The next song reminded me of summer nights, when the undergraduate college students had returned home and my girlfriends and I claimed the small town bars in the wee hours of the morning, dancing to Hoobastank and The Sweet. We worked the entire week in various jobs, (sometimes multiple) to afford a $10 or $20 spent on the bar and maybe, a little late night Hardees. I love these women fiercely and just thinking of how far apart we’ve grown is difficult. I saw most of them during a wedding almost a year back. That day, with the sunshine and our children playing happily has remained one of my favorite memories. I wrote about it then, how side by side we stood, almost 10 years later and I couldn’t believe I was lucky enough to still see them and love them.

Finally, Heather Nova’s masterpiece, “London Rain,” came through my speakers and I knew, I had to pull over. The song is typical in it’s late 1990′s angst. Hidden in the middle are some of the most profound lyrics I’ve heard.    We have a significant lack of people that truly love and know us, as Heather so eloquently points out. Humans have the rare trait of being able to feel and think through emotions unlike any other species. Unfortunately, we live in a world that tells us to hide our passion behind a curtain, letting very few people in. Never one to let society dictate how I translate who I am into who I want to truly be, I knew these moments, emotions and memories were sharing something with me. It’s almost like they whispered, “This. Is. Important.”

For the first time, I didn’t want to leave work tonight. Since my time at the State of Minnesota, I haven’t felt such an emotional bond with the people I work with. I had focused so much on missing Alan and Laurie and Larry, (all of them,) that I hadn’t really wanted to have the opportunity to miss anyone else. If there are two things in this world I find the most terrifying, one is loving someone with all my heart and the other, is letting them go. Just like with my college love and my amazing girlfriends. It’s hard to believe that only five years ago, I was here.

When I am in the sweet presence of creativity and brilliance,  leaving that moment is like walking out on Van Gogh painting a masterpiece. It’s too hard to turn it off, come home and push myself to go to sleep, and LET GO of everything in my head. I’ve known for a long time that my  ”off switch” is broken, but now, it’s utterly confirmed.

A man in a blue shirt just stopped by and tapped my shoulder. He said, “You’re thinking too hard.” It’s true. I’m the awkward woman huddled in the corner, drinking Amy’s Blend and knowing I want to get home to my children, but this needs to happen first.  Writers have left many events to get words on paper;we are slaves to the emotion and truths that are masked in our fingertips. The mixture of being lost somewhere in our minds and not capturing the one sentence we are feeling, is beyond our comprehension. I stopped the car because the memories of the music lingered not to be some darker thought, but something more powerful than I knew. I walked into a coffee shop to affirm to myself: FEEL THIS.

Maybe it’s a mixture of cancer surgery in only three short weeks, or a delayed quarter life crisis. This is growing up, I guess. My crayons turned into pens, which turned into computers and evolved strangely into whiteboard markers. When I’m creative,  I write, draw and create. In the moments when I hit clarity in my job and within my team, I’d do anything to make that moment last. I could have easily had 25 more years of the last 2 years after college. I could have had another 4 hours after my late-night meeting. There’s such a balance to the art of living. Feel this. Live with Passion. Let Go.

I’m just praying I have the time to perfect that formula. There is so much more to feel.