My Summer Is Not Your Summer


Summer.

Summer used to be fireworks.

Your nights were chilly. The sky was so clear you could taste the stars against the navy blue sky. The air was so pure you could feel the smoke from the campfire caress your skin and linger on your hoodie the next morning.

You woke up to lawnmowers and laughter, holding the fate of the next three months in your hands. You could get on your lavender tennis shoes and bike to a friends house. You didn't have to call them or even make plans, because you knew they'd be home. You could spend your nights dancing like a child on the cold concrete pavement or you could avoid humanity and watch Disney Channel all night long with the air conditioner on high. It was all up to you.

No plans or calendars. No stress or responsibilities. No symptoms or obligations. It was you and the sun. 

Summer was anything you wanted it to be. It could be everything or it could be nothing. You could even switch between the two every few days if you wanted to.

One minute you could be the queen of your small town, soaking in each and every sun ray. Then the next minute you could fall off the earth and that would be alright, too. No one would be checking for you. You had no boss, no principal, no government knocking at your door asking where you've been. At the end of the day, you knew you'd have absolute freedom and bliss for the next 90 days and that was enough.

All five of your senses were stimulated with gingham, chlorine, escapism and sunscreen. You were never numb. Never longing for something more or craving something less. I long for those days, but I'm afraid they've slipped away. My heart yearns for autumn leaves and new beginnings.

Don't get me wrong, summer is my friend. But friends don't always get along and sometimes they need time apart. 

The sun betrayed me. It sucks up all of the motivation and energy in me. I want to sleep but I can't. I want to cook but I can't. I want to write but I can't. I do my best to get by, putting all of my energy into work and scarfing down take out. Summer isn't freedom. It isn't bliss. Now, I'm stuck with all of my responsibilities except I have to deal with them in 100 degree heat. As far as I'm concerned, summer is just straight up bland.

And oh, the PRESSURE. The pressure to go on vacation. The pressure to soak up the sun on the beach. The pressure to see fireworks, go to amusement parks, go on adventures, wear pretty sundresses and sip iced tea and eat hot dogs at late June parties. But...I don't want to do any of this. I feel stressed and my summer is slowly but surely turning into everyone else's winter.

I sit here wondering why our public school system would condition us to believe summer was freedom when in the real world, it's just scorching hot. I do believe summer is magical...but our connection just isn't there anymore and it's a real bummer, let me tell ya. I hope one day I'll find my summer again.

Who knows, perhaps one day it'll all come back to me. Maybe I'll be 22 at a farmers market with fresh strawberries in hand. Maybe I'll feel it when I'm 27 sitting in front of a bonfire. Or maybe I'll be floating in a pool somewhere when I'm 34. But now,  I want nothing to do with summer.

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