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I’m in the midst of this bizarre road trip that is part research, part job quest, and part vacation.

I’m scared of fucking up again because I’m convinced that the years behind me are littered with past fuck ups. I look at myself today and think, “I wouldn’t be this unhappy now if I’d just handled things differently back then.” It’s super not helpful and I do it anyway.

I’m driving through the state and I’m trying to figure out how to make this choice that I haven’t even been given yet. No one has actually offered me a job. There is nothing to decide as of today. I’m turning this potential “problem” over and over in my head because I’m so damn scared of screwing up more.

And the thing is, I haven’t fucked up. My life is not screwed up. I took a circuitous route, but it was the only one I could have taken and still ended up exactly here, exactly as I am in this exact moment of space and time typing these exact words. And I like where I am today. The real, honest-to-god truth is, I like who I am today.

I started crying at the sight of another spectacular view today. I saw the land and water before me, and I thought about South Africa and who I was at nineteen when I was there. I thought about who I’ve since become. I started crying. I think it may have been an act of love.