They hang high in the air for a split second, brilliantly coloured baubles, vivid against the slate grey sky. Then, like rain, they fall to the earth, shattering on impact until the ground, stretching for miles and miles in all directions around me, is littered with the colourful remnants of broken dreams.

Undeterred by the constant bombardment, I continue my search and scan the glittering earth as I walk. I carefully pick my way to avoid treading on the already defeated dreams, but there are so many here that this cannot be completely prevented. The crunch of disappointment, the crinkle of hopelessness issue from under my shoes every few steps.

So many broken dreams. Seven billion people's worth of broken dreams.

This is beginning to feel futile. They all look the same, these dreams. I cannot possibly find my own and attempt to nurture it back to its wholesome form. I cannot tell one apart from the other, for while they might all appear in different shades and colours, they all share a fundamental similarity. They are all worthless, sent here only to be forgotten.

I shake my head. This is futile. Maybe I should forget too, and move on.

I turn on my heel and head back.

I dream anew. Maybe this one will stay airborne. Maybe one day I will be able to return to this land of broken dreams, cradle my old, shattered ones in my hands and fondly remember the times we spent together.
My suitcase stands in the corner of my room, patiently waiting to devour the contents of my closet one day. Everything else is done, the vaccinations, the paperwork, all done. Now we're just waiting. Every night I fall asleep wrapped up in a blanket of hope for the coming morning; every noon, I wake up and as I check the time on my phone, the same blanket becomes a shroud of disappointment.

It's too late in the day. Were today the day, I would have known by now. The office closes after noon. 

I await a call from the US Consulate telling me that my passport is ready with a visa stamped on it and that I may pick it up, a call that is the only thing that stands between me and the kind of education I have been dying to immerse myself in for months.

I have been waiting for over two months now, and the next few days will decide whether or not I will be on board when the plane leaving for St Paul, Minnesota takes off.

Today, however, was different. I woke up at around midday as usual, flung a heavy arm towards the bedside table, plucked my phone from it and saw that it was 12:32 PM. No missed calls from strange numbers. Nothing. But before my blanket became an envelope of tangible, weighty, constricting disappointment, I cast it aside.

There is a certain feeling of liberation that comes with the knowledge that you have done everything necessary to achieve something and now the final outcome depends upon variables you have no control over, and a certain giddy joy that I welcome with open arms. August has not been a kind month. Between wearing away the floor of my room with my incessant pacing and constantly checking the calendar, fearfully ticking each day off, between doctor appointments where I'd be told that stress had made my blood pressure rise and frequent, random outbursts of anger, time has both lingered on forever and rushed by impossibly fast. Now, though, I feel at peace. I have let go.

Life has not been particularly cruel to me now that I look back at the eighteen years I've been around for. In fact - and I say this with both gratitude and a little bit of shame - the cruelest moments of my life have been receiving bad grades or something else along those very lines. In a way, that seems to mean that things have favourable odds of working out for me. But if they don't... I guess it was bound to happen sooner or later.

With that in mind, I think it will be easier for me to bear the brunt of whatever, good or ill, happens, and make the most of my situation. To thrash and cry and vow to be unhappy and unforgiving if things don't go your way is to lose, to fail, to not deserve any more than what you got.

So, dear life, it's your turn to roll the dice. I'll be alright.
Copyright © Quill Emissions