Welcome to Cleveland, Mississippi.
Yesterday, I sat in the lounge of the Student Life Office where I work at the University of Hipsterville with my advisor, my role model, and my “mom” , Melody, and did some research on Cleveland. Cleveland is where I will be moving in 27 days for the 5 week long American Teachers Foundation training program.
Looking at it on the map, I found myself in deep motiviational conversation with my own sub-concious. The voice of Sara Wildes spoke audibly as I filled with panic. “So it’s in the middle of nowhere? You’re the most creative person I know, you can make your own fun,” she bellowed between my ears.
I started looking what what the 7.3 square mile town of Cleveland, MS has. There’s a Walmart–so you know it’s big time! There’s a Sonic AND a burger king, so that’s getting pretty fancy.
I searched for “shopping mall” and was directed to the Delta Square… When I street-viewed it, I literally almost threw up in my mouth. The “Delta Square” is no shopping mall… at least not like the ones that I’m use to.
There’s a tobacco store, a check advance place, a beauty salon, and a nail salon… I was so done. “Do freak out,” Sara Wildes pleaded. “Look at cheap the gas will be! Only $3.25! See, there’s positive things to this.” My positive nature was starting to piss me off. Melody was staying real calm so that I didn’t freak the fuck out, thank God.
Then I decided it would be an excellent idea to look up where the nearest real mall is located.
Fifty. Fucking. Minutes.
It was at this very moment that the white-privilege, materialistic, bratty Sara Wildes that I try so hard to suppress began to pour out of me in the form of wet, hot, salty tears. Yes, the very news that a mall would be close to an hour away sent me into an emotional crying frenzy right there on a perfectly beautiful Friday morning. “Stop crying,” Melody insisted.
“I’m TRYING!!!” the sounds of sobbing came gushing out of my throat as if someone had just killed me dog.
- Confession- It’s been months since I’ve cried.
- Confession #2– I hate crying.
But there I sat, in front my my Macbook sobbing stupid crocodile tears over the lack of a mall in Cleveland, MS. I’m slowly coming to terms with the significant changes in “my world” that I will experience this summer. A town like Cleveland may not be a booming city of young adults and glamorous, glorious things to do or see, but it will be an experience and a challenge that will shape me for the rest of my life. Regardless of the less-than-glamorous appearance of this little forgotten town, I am so thankful for the opportunity to be personally challenged in such a way. Because once I get over the personal hump of not having a fucking shopping mall at my beck-and-call, then maybe I can get over myself and actually help others…
Bring it on, Cleveland.