I cry. I’ll be the first to admit it. I’m a pretty emotional guy. I always have been. Not the dumb drama filled emotional. Just…normal emotional. Well, maybe not normal. I don’t cry more than usual during funerals or weddings. Physical pain rarely secretes a tear out of me. But what really turns my eyes into faucets is…happiness.
For whatever reason, I have always produced tears when a feeling of great happiness comes over me. Maybe it’s when I finish a good movie or book. Or it’s after I get done running a long, tiring race. Maybe it’s a beautiful sunset or interesting piece of art. Reminiscing about old memories almost always gets me…and thinking ahead about new ones as well. I never really figured out why the happiest moments in my life always have to come with a set of tears and I’ve long given up on trying to hold it back. I guess most people say their lives are comprised of chapters. When something in their lives ends, a chapter closes and a new one begins. I’ve always felt that my life is more like a library, made up of many, many books. I’m not trying to say that my life is so much richer and fuller than that of anyone else, and it couldn’t possibly be contained in just one measly book. I’m just saying that little things in life seem to impact my heart more than the average Joe. “Chapters” of my life seem to end and begin on a daily basis, and when something significant does comes to a close, I think of it like finishing a large book that I’ve grown rather connected to. While another great book surely awaits, I sometimes feel as if I’m not ready to know the ending of my last one so soon. But, usually, my books conclude with that “perfect” ending sentence and happiness overtakes me, as well as my tear ducts.
So today, being the official halfway point of my 100 day, 1,800+ mile journey, I found myself tearing up as I took my last steps into a small gas station. I couldn’t believe that I had already traveled so far, raised so much, and that the trip almost seems to be down hill from here (not literally of course!). I suddenly got a taste of how good it’s going to feel when I walk into Miami, FL on July 4th. I’m going to be a mess…a happy mess. I hastily wiped my eyes as a pair of gentlemen glanced over at me. Obviously they were wondering what the heck was going on with that sweaty looking guy, toting a backpack and crying. (just for the record I don’t cry when I’m happy like this. Tears just come out.) Anyways, I headed to the back for the beverage cooler and grabbed a half gallon of chocolate milk to help me celebrate my trip’s milestone.
I was greeted with a kind smile by the cashier, whose name tag read “Evelyn.” As I pulled out a few dollars from my pocket she asked, “Aww… Honey, you okay?”
I looked up. She was giving me a very concerned face. She had obviously spotted my red eyes and wet cheeks. Smiling I replied, “Oh! Yes. I’m definitely fine! I’m walking across America and today marks my halfway point.”
She stared intently at me as she produced my change, and then asked, “So…whats the problem then?”
Blushing slightly, I sheepishly replied, “I don’t know… I’m just happy. Probably a little too happy.” I looked down and gave a feeble smile.
As I reached to take my change, Evelyn seized hold of my hand and gave it a gentle squeeze. I glanced up at her, her eyes shimmering brightly. The corner of her smile twitched slightly as she simply said, “No such thing.”