I’ve been a little lost lately. A lot lost, actually. It’s been a tough year, haunted by the memory of watching my father suffer through his final days. It’s left me changed. I once was fun, spunky, always smiling. It’s the trait my dad said he liked most about me—that I always had a smile for everyone. But the sadness overwhelmed me for a good while. Smiles were harder to come by. The sadness simply swallowed me.
Then I went to Montana. Not a place I would have picked personally, but it was a press trip and that’s the place they sent us. And this place transformed me. Maybe just for a few days. But in Montana, I found me again.
I found that I can enjoy spending time in a state that isn’t on the coast. I found that I have a talent in skeet shooting—who would have ever thought? I found that I really enjoy connecting with people from all over the country that I never would have had the chance to meet had I not been part of this trip. And I found that I still love to dance.
One part of the trip included a big cookout party and mini-concert with a band on its way up (Annabelle Road). Give ‘em a year and they’ll be on the biggest stage you can imagine, but for this one night, they were putting on a concert for less than 50 of us. They sang and I danced. It’s one of my greatest pleasures, but something I hadn’t really let myself do for about a year. I danced all night, with everybody. I had the time of my life just letting go. It’s a night I’ll think about for a long time to come I am sure. In Montana, I found happiness again, deep down in my gut.
For one night, a few hours, I was me again, stress-free and smiling. I thank my new friends who let me dance with them, giving me grins and hugs, telling me to keep on dancing…to be me.
I know it’s unlikely, but I hope I’ll see these friends again, just to let them know how much that one night meant.