On Top of the World

I don’t know if this sounds depressing or normal or what, but there are very few times in my life that I can think of as times when I felt like I was on top of the world. 

As much as I love to dance, I didn’t even feel that way on a stage for recitals. My conscious mind would be too focused on the audience, and the way my body looked next to the smaller girls. I loved to dance, and I loved to get all done up for recitals, but all they gave me was major anxiety.

Besides the fact that I depend on my dad for food, transportation, and a place to live, I legitimately feel like a child sometimes. This is mostly because I haven’t experienced things that most people experience by the time that they’re my age. Think about this: I’m halfway through my twenty-second year of life, and I didn’t graduate college, I haven’t had a first kiss, I’ve never truly lived on my own, I don’t have a license, and I can’t afford to really have anything for myself. I am actually a child!

I wish that I can say that I haven’t experienced any of these things because I was too sheltered as a child. Yes, I was held on a short leash, but I don’t have any of those things because of myself. I don’t take any risks; I would rather play it safe than lose myself in the process of getting anything. At least that’s the way I think about it.

Truly feeling like I’m on top of the world hasn’t happened for me yet.

To be honest, the closest I’ve probably ever felt like I was on top of the world was when I was in college. I never had so much freedom before in my life, so I did more things and made more friends in two years there than I had in the eighteen years before that at home. I didn’t have to worry about anybody but myself, and I trusted myself, so I let myself have fun and go out and actually be me.

Growing up, I didn’t really crush on any boys from my school district, except for maybe two or three—and one of those crushes lasted throughout elementary, middle, and halfway through high school. (Yep, that’s how safe I played it.) When I got to college, it was like a whole new world of the male population. The guys actually wore pants around their waists, and didn’t have slang as a first language. It was awesome.

I crushed hard on three different guys in my two years at Iona, especially my freshman year. And I worked with one of them for the school. For discretion, we’ll call him Ian. He was tall, low-profile, and had stories for days. Ian covered me being late a couple times, and even saved me from being inside a locked closet. He was such a sweet guy.

Long story short, I crushed hard.

One night, I was going out with my friends Megan and Tyler to see a musical called Bullets Over Broadway. Zach Braff was playing the lead, it had a Roaring Twenties feel to it, and just those things won me over to see this show. It was opening night, so the three of us got dressed up. And when the cab we called for was about to show up at our residential hall, it was time to get downstairs.

Down in the main lobby, Ian just happened to be working the front desk.

And, normally, I would have shied away and rushed to the door to get out of there. But something weird came over me, and I actually said something that was along the lines of, “hey…what are you doing here?”

It came out friendlier than I expected.

He had a smile on his face, replied to my question, and asked where we were going. We had a short conversation, because the cab was waiting outside, but I remember him making the comment, “have a good time, you look beautiful!”

Let me tell you something.

I know how naïve this sounds, but nothing gives you confidence like when a guy that you like calls you beautiful. I was grinning like an idiot almost the whole night after that. Something as small as, “you look beautiful,” should not have gotten so much of my attention, but hey, I liked Ian, and nobody says anything like that except for my mom. No exaggeration there. Not even my dad has ever called me beautiful.

If anything had ever sent me over the moon, it was the boy with his comment and that grin on his stupid face.

I cursed his girlfriend who was abroad in England for that comment. And him, and that stupid grin!

I felt like nothing could knock me down that night. You know, until Zach Braff took a picture with and signed a playbill for Megan, and rushed away before I could ask for a signature. Can you say, denied? Because I sure can!

(If you don’t know who Zach Braff is, he’s from that show Scrubs.)

I remember Ian sending me off into the night sky over the freaking moon, and then Zach Braff bringing me back down to Earth. My heart had never done a 180 so fast in its life. I hated myself for letting men play with my poor, unbroken heart like that.


Prompt: Tell us about a time when you felt like you were on top of the world.

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