But the best part about summer, and about looking back on the summer, is the ability to reflect on it later, to think back on the good times and the bad and change for the future. I know I’ll be doing a lot of changing over the course of the next few days and weeks, considering school will have already started by the time this blog post goes up.
One thing I’m particularly thankful for is the fact that I’ve kept this blog running in spite of everything, in spite of not having as many ideas of what to write about because I don’t have work going on. I was worried for a time that I wouldn’t be writing as much, but I’ve managed to keep steady and only drop below 2 scheduled posts I think once or twice over the whole season. I like to keep a long, steady list of scheduled posts in the bank, so that I don’t need to worry about keeping my blog up to date all the time every day. I consider it my 300 words a day, even though I don’t always write every day.
The summer was full of Uber Eats deliveries, long Monster Hunter nights, and Fire Emblem battle grinds during the day. It was full of Hearthstone ladder climbing, dog walks, and the occasional trip outside our apartment’s little bubble. It was full of birthday presents and celebrations, family visits, and family gatherings. I’d like to think that, when all is said and done, this long, eventful 10 weeks was worth it, that in spite of the sunken cost of living during this time period, I was able to make the most of the time I had. I believe that wholeheartedly, even though sometimes I doubt myself. I guess that means it’s not wholehearted then? Oh well.
But of course, this is a two-part blog post, so there’s always more to talk about when summarizing the most liberating season of them all.
I had responsibilities that I fulfilled, responsibilities I left open and couldn’t quite complete. There were appointments I should’ve made early in the summer that, by the end of the season, I felt too distracted to make any more. There was potential for so much: we could’ve had endless hangouts, on any day of the week, but drama unfurled in one of my friends’ households involving their post-college plans. That complicated our dreams, but that didn’t stop us from hanging out and playing games while able to.
I started video games that changed my life, like Persona 5, which introduced me to some wonderful friends while also introducing both Alex and I to a compelling large-scale narrative that kept us occupied and engaged for a month straight. It’s been ages since I’ve felt so engaged and motivated to play a game just for its story, and it kept us hooked enough to motivate us to buy a huge poster of the game’s cast of characters which now hangs above our printer desk. That reminds me of Connecticon, which we went to with Bella, and the upcoming Renaissance Faire, which will be a blast, too.
Bella’s leaving for college, Miranda’s already left for Florida, Madison’s in Orlando with the babies and sooner or later will be moving westward in Connecticut to better accommodate her and Mike’s jobs. Life is changing, whether we are ready for it or not, and we can only hold on for the ride.
I’m the kind of person who tends to think nostalgically even about bad times, and though this summer was by no means a bad time, I can definitely see myself looking back fondly on these times regardless of how they went.
Summer is great, isn’t it? It’s not too early to be nostalgic about it, hopefully. I have rose-tinted glasses about it already. There were nights when I had no concerns in the world, when I stayed up past 2am playing Monster Hunter: World on the big TV with friends I had met from Twitter while Alex had to get ready for work in only a couple hours, and on those nights I truly felt what it’s like to live freely and without a care. It was like being unemployed all over again; technically, I was unemployed, if that clears anything up, as I wasn’t being paid over the summer. That made things difficult; budgeting became a pain, and I had to account for 10 weeks when I had no regular paycheck to my name.
But it was liberating all the same. The summer was like a dream to me, and I’ll look forward to it next year just as I did this year. Nothing will have changed about it in my mind. It’s crazy to think that there’s a whole 9 1/2 months standing between me and my next break of this size, but not everyone has the same liberties that I do.
There were days when I wished I could’ve done more, when I had no money to spend but lots of ideas about what to do. There were days when I didn’t have a car to use, two weeks in fact, and I had places to go but no method of transportation to get there. There were days when I had plans but I didn’t want to do them, when I was supposed to visit friends in New Jersey but had other things in mind to occupy my time. There were so many days of listless mental absence, and I’ll miss those feelings a lot, but now it’s time to strap back in and be responsible again.
It’s summer time. Time to party, have fun, and relax. I’ve already been able to enjoy my time to the fullest, having a few get-togethers with friends in North Haven and Stamford, and spending time with my girlfriend’s family, the in-laws. Being away from work for a bit is exciting and exhilarating, as there are so many opportunities for things to do that I wouldn’t normally be able to do. I’ve been able to rush through a lot of video games at once, playing as much as I can and exploring new worlds on the Playstation 4, while simultaneously enjoying the week off with Alex. She’s had the week off as well because she took conference time for a week, not even using her practically unlimited vacation time. So there’s tons of potential for more time off in the future for her, too.
For me, though, this vacation has been fun. I’ve had time to write, even though I haven’t been writing very much since the vacation began, and I plan on continuing my streak of blog posts throughout the months ahead. I would hate for it to slack off just because I’m lazy and unable to think of ideas. I’m sure I’ll be able to think of something, the ideas just might not be as interesting or as diverse as they would be while I’m still working for 10 months of the year. I definitely plan on continuing the blogs, regardless of what responsibilities I might have over the summer break.
Being alone during the day won’t be fun, once Alex moves into being a regular worker bee again. But I’m looking forward to hopefully starting to be more productive during my summer, and I’m looking forward to whatever that entails. Sometimes a kick in the butt like being alone for awhile is enough to push my motivation over the edge.
Distant humming, mechanical whirring,
a slight rumble and shake to the room;
The air is on, and I can feel it graze through
the hairs sticking up from my skin;
Computer screens, half awake, half asleep,
a beachside oasis wallpaper repeated
on every other monitor,
jutting rocks, a cavern of sand,
and it’s 1:46pm, to be exact;
Two more hours to go, until I am free to leave
and let my mind roam mindlessly elsewhere
and at another time;
Remember what it was like when they finally
turned on the AC, and the entire building
Remember how it felt when walking into a room,
a room you knew before, but now with
added comfort and luxury?
A room that once made you sweat until your
pits could drain enough water to fill a bucket?
A room that once made you cry tears of
complete exhaustion, from bullying or
heat or whatever else existed outside the mind?
Yeah, that’s it.
Paint a picture without photos
What’s the call of the seasons?
Spontaneous 90 degree weather signals
Summertime is in full-force
Winds of change command attention
When’s the next spring?
When’s the next autumn?
Warmth warms and cool air cools
But the weather improves not
Summer is summer
And summer never changes.