Who knew this would happen so soon?
I knew I would miss it eventually, but the idea seemed so distant.
Am I the only one that feels it’s absence?
Am I the only one of my-aged peers that doesn’t have one?
My friends, I am talking about summer.
Gone are the days of having up to 3 months without a care in the world. There are bills to pay, work to be done, and seemingly no time to spare.
Thinking back, what in the world did I do all summer?! How did all this free time end up filled? I remember having a nanny take care of my brother and I for at least four summers, and absolutely loving it. I remember taking trips to the movies, science museums, Legoland at the mall, the aquarium, the pool, the park and so much more, just in our little suburban square of the world. And then of course high school came along and the entire month of August was a sweatfest- filled with long hours of drill, dance, and learning choreography. Funny how I dreaded it back then, but looking back, I only see all the fun times we had in band camp.
My first summer in college was a weird one. I didn’t go back home to my parents for the summer, nor did I get to have just 3 months of leisure. Nope, I spent all that summer working three jobs at the mall. I remember how devastated I was those 3 months. Every lunch break I got I would scroll through facebook, looking at people’s pictures of vacations on the beach, or in Europe, or the mountains somewhere. Even worse was scrolling through pictures and stumbling upon ones of groups of my friends together- laughing, smiling, carefree, and most importantly (and upsetting) together.
Of course some of my friends did have summer jobs in our hometown, but they were still able to get together. I never thought I would actually feel as excluded as I did, but I couldn’t complain, of course. It was my own decision to live in Austin, and with Jake being out of school and not getting his scholarship money, we both had to work. If I remember correctly, he spent his summer working at Dollar General, which wasn’t exactly glamorous either. There was rent to pay, bills due, groceries to buy, and unfortunately a very short amount of time that we were able to afford off. Actually, I think that summer the only time I received off was the week before I started a new job at the preschool, perfectly timed so that I didn’t have to use any of my PTO!
For once this summer, I’m not alone in missing out on months of freedom. My same-aged peers have now gotten to the point where they all have summer internships. Instead of summers in South Padre or lounging by the pool, these high achievers will spend their summer break in an office building high above Dallas, or Austin, or Houston or some other metropolitan area. They’ll get their own desks and phones, and learn what ‘business casual’ really means. They’ll either be proud of their accomplishments and high level of internship, or they’ll lie about that fact that all they do all day is organize paperwork and make coffee. My darling Jacob has found himself an internship of the latter sort, which of course he isn’t thrilled about, but it gets him in a real-life counselor’s office for a good 10 hours a week, so at least he’s gaining some ground experience.
Soon enough I won’t be alone in my summer-less existence. Most of my friends are headed into their senior year of college (how did that happen so quickly?!), and I’m sure will quickly head into the workforce after. In some ways I still feel behind. I have a few friends who graduated early, and now face the world with bright eyes and degrees tucked under their arms. The rest have just one short year left before they have to start adulting for real too. I have so many mixed feelings about my friends beginning to graduate. It’s an accomplishment I feel like I missed out on, but at the same time, it’s not what I want. While I may be envious of them being able to hear their name called and walk across the stage, their heads held high with pride of their accomplishments in the last four years, I also know that these same people will soon be headed into exactly where I don’t ever want to end up- Cubeville. While of course I don’t wish any of them anything but the best, I secretly feel like I’ll end up happier in the long run. I decided long ago I never wanted to work in an office building, and pursuing my business is a natural progression of that dream. Is it a little harder for me to find my footing? Sure. Will it take me more than a few years to get my business up and running, and ‘catch-up’ to my peers. Of course. Will it be worth it to have a career that absolutely inspires me each and every day? Absolutely.
Of course I’m saddened to see summer turn into nothing but a season, but that’s just Life chugging along, whether or not me or Jake or my high school friends are ready. I can’t wait for what’s ahead, but there’s such strong nostalgia for the past that I can’t help but wishing time would slow down, even just a bit. The days are long, but the years are short, as clearly evidenced by how quickly 2 and a half years with Jacob snuck up on us! It’s hard to imagine a life without him of course, but has it really been that long since we first started dating? Weirdly enough it feels like longer to both of us though. We both agree it actually feels like we’ve been together 4 years, whether that be a good or bad thing. The craziest thing to me is thinking about the fact that when Jake and I met and first starting dating, I was just 18. Me turning 21 was literally 3 years into the future, and here I am today, sitting just 31 days away from that magical day (not that I’m counting down or anything). Crazy. I wish I had a less cliche way to wrap this up, but unfortunately I don’t friends. Nothing else to say, but ‘That’s Life!’ Have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend, and I hope to see you back here soon!