Friday, August 17, 2012

A Curtain Call for Summer

It still feels like just yesterday was the first day of my five month long summer vacation.  It's strange to even say I've been off for five months; surely there's no way that I've been living at home since April 1st, I can barely even begin to fill the weeks with enough memories!  If anything it just goes to show how comfortable I got with living back at home with my family, with the home cooked meals and car keys up for grabs, but sitting on my bed in my new residence apartment feels just as familiar as if I pressed pause five months ago and only just hit resume.  Much like with last year the gravity of the independence and the move itself has yet to hit me; yeah, I had this strange knot in my stomach for the past week leading up to move-in day, today, and driving back toward campus with my mom had this surreal feeling hanging over it like a cloud, but it's as if my mind has settled for nothing less than immediate acceptance when it comes to the notion of hey, this is your life for the next eight months.  My mom getting a little teary eyed when saying goodbye (after a day-long mission back and forth first from the car to my room and then from my house to various stores to collect what I'd forgotten, no less) was a crack to my stone coldness to the situation, but knowing my parents need to come back here anyways to deliver two couches within the next two weeks makes the look ahead to my independent life a little less dreary.

And yet, at the same time, even just moving in to the empty unit (which will remain empty aside from me for the next two days, I believe) brought about this excitement that I never had last year.  Maybe it's because my two-person apartment style residence layout is simply huge, and it's exciting to know that this year I'll have couches an a TV and my PS3 so that I won't have to hole up in my room 24/7; maybe it's because the walls are actually painted blues and greens instead of the apathetic whites of last year, or that the carpeted floors will hide my grimy footprints a lot better than last year's hardwood; or maybe, definitely, and this is about as candid as I want to get, I know I'm not getting myself into a permanent situation with someone that yields no ounce of benefit.  I'm hoping this year will bring the possibility for open doors as opposed to locked ones, or the chance to steal the use of a common area away from dust, things I never had in what became like a prison, but that's that.  I know I have a huge undertaking with my new position of don up ahead, and that should keep me busy along with graduate school applications and classes and maintaining marks and gearing up for graduation and I don't want to think of any of these things anymore, not today.

What happened that was noteworthy this summer?  It was a good one, I know, at least in comparison to those of my memories.

Yeah, I broke my foot.  Yeah, I went to Florida.  No need to rehash that.  (horrible and amazing, respectively)

I racked up more hours at work this summer than I have in all the years I've worked there combined.  As a result, my feet hurt a lot more, my back from standing, my cheeks from pressing on the smile to serve customer after customer, but the influx of shifts brought two happy things: one, fat paychecks, and two, time enough to actually get to know the people I worked with and find a damn good time while working with them.  It's inherently human to complain about your job, but I can at least say mine wasn't the worst thing in the world.  I do wish I could've gone back to earn some extra money after my vacation, but the foot dictates what I can and cannot do so in the end I enjoyed my two weeks of nothing before moving, anyways.

Really, there was nothing else out of the ordinary.  As usual it was fantastic to be surrounded by your best friends again, and of course being with friends brought about the best nights out to bars, to the movies more times than any human should go within a set amount of months, to an empty laser tag arena or just to a familiar basement to knock back some drinks.  I'm stuck in a cliche rut when I go on about blah blah blah so happy I have great friends, but I am and I do, and I'm happy that friendships only got stronger and I got the chance to be around other people a lot more to get closer to them, too.  Maybe that's why I was almost reluctant to move back on campus so quickly - I did get comfortable with the people padding my social circle around me, and while it's sad to know that the distance between me and any given person will only get greater from here on out, I know I'm in for new friends and new experiences this year given the circumstances of my job.  And getting back into a groove with the friends here (on account of living on the same campus or close nearby) is a great thing, too.

The biggest thing I'll miss from the world's longest summer vacation will be the lack of stress.  Ahead of me comes all of those things I've already listed off that makes me sweat a little bit more, and I know the next few weeks of nonstop training for my job will be strenuous.  (as much as it's sure to be fun, though) What makes it a little worse is knowing that there's no time to breathe once training is up: I'm going to plunge right into going back to class and turning in assignments while I need to do my job as best as I can.  See, and summer's not like that - summer's waking up after noon and showering hours later before you sit around and do nothing until a friend asks you if you want to drink a lot and go someplace.  No deadlines.

Like I said, though, this move feels a lot different than last year's.  Maybe it's because I know this year will be amazing.  But for now, I'll say goodbye to my old friend summer.

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