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Think about your life in relation to the seasons. What is your favorite season and why? During which season were you born? How did you feel as a child about each season? Have significant events happened during one season over the others? How do you see the world around you change at the start of each season? Use these musings to fuel an essay about one or all of the seasons. 

As I’m sitting here writing this, I’m in a quaint park on a residential street. It’s close enough to the main, highly trafficked road to be distracting—but just enough to serve as a reminder that my time here is temporary. Not like my time on Earth or anything existential like that, just that I have about 45 minutes to write this before my lunch break is over and I have to return to the office.

But as for now, now I’m in this park—just close enough to reality to keep me grounded but far enough away to let me live in my own fantasy world, if only for a short while. I’m perched upon a stone stool, situated in front of a matching stone chess table, created for someone with all the time in the world to just sit, play, enjoy—not for people on borrowed time like myself. Not for many at all really, since no one ever seems to be in this park. The sun is beating down upon me, but there’s a breeze just cool enough to keep it comfortable. There’s a bed of vibrant pink tulips to my right. There’s a child singing in her front yard just across the street. Birds are chirp, chirp, chirping away… all of that good shit. Spring has arrived… and about two months too damn late.

Ok, maybe that’s a bit unfair. Technically spring equinox is on March 20th, which means that spring is really only just over a month late. And sure, the weather never really changes in accordance with the seasons on the first day of their supposed arrival. And yes, there’s also that pesky climate change to factor in—but screw that noise—I’m getting older and more and more impatient in my advancing years.

I don’t think of the seasons in terms of dates and meteorological facts and science—I think about seasons and weather in relation to years passed. Last year, spring “arrived” around the second or third week in March, and then stuck around for a while. The same goes for the spring the year before that. And, come to think of it, the year before that too. Right now it’s the first week of May and the month of renewal is only just barely, cautiously approaching—like a middle-aged woman slowly dipping her toes into a just-a-tad-too cool swimming pool. But for me, it should have been out there, past the kiddie pool, and wading around in the 4’2 foot section by now. (Are these pool references indicative enough of my yearning for summer?)

Sure, we were “due for” another snowy, long, “bad” winter, but that doesn’t mean I have to be cool with it (forgive the pun). I remember analyzing a piece of poetry in the first literature class I ever attended in college—I don’t remember the poem itself, but it prompted a discussion of the “rhythm” of the seasons. Spring is a time of rebirth while winter is a time of death. Death doesn’t have to be taken in the most literal sense—it could also mean a stoppage of creative thought and expression. To me, winter is a time of stagnancy. The cold air and obtrusive, dirty snow forces me to retreat, cowering under my fortress of blankets, cut off from any outside creative influence that might be trying to break in. A time of idleness.  A time of waiting… and my God, do I hate waiting. With each passing year, the “winter blahs,” as I affectionately call ‘em, get me badder than the year prior. The cold, the grey, and the wind hits me harder each time.

So the fact that it is May and it still feels as though winter hasn’t quite left the building, the fact that it’s bitter chill hasn’t yet been found keeled over on the toilet, means that I have a harsh pile of excuses to fall into and make lie-angels in instead of creating. The humid, bitter rain is only just approaching—even  the April showers are late to my pity party.  Summer seems so far off that it feels like the only option is to create my own “summer,” or even my own “spring” for that matter. Albert Camus once said “In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.” That absurd bastard. But I do suppose he has a point… imagination is my tool and my pen and paper is my broken toy that needs repair—it will just take envisioning the perfect season I want to experience and creating it myself, even if only in writing.

…Hey, that’s not a bad idea. Maybe I’ll start working on that when Mother Nature stops being such a bitch

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Summer Lovin’

June 18, 2012

Thursday, June 7, 2012. While at my desk at work I look out the window separating me and the world, and see the signs of summer propping up all around me. Actually, it’s pretty awful looking outside right now and kind of chilly, so disregard that. It is June, though, so it’s kind of summer, almost. Well, it will be officially summer in just a few weeks so I suppose it’s…summer’s eve?

Hey, everyone! Sorry for the delayed absence. I would have posted more but I was totally avoiding writing anything on this blog altogether! Hope you didn’t miss me too much, but I also definitely hope you did because I’m back! And it’s almost officially summer which makes me think of summers past. This season seems to bring with it nostalgia for youthful experiences and teenage dreams. Past loves, friendships, adventures, thoughts, plans, hopes, ideas…all that good shit. I figured it was about the right time for me to buckle down and write about my life and all that the summers of my adolescent and teenagers years brought to me. Here goes nothing…

2002.

It’s June, and it’s the last day of 8th grade and the beginning of the last summer of elementary school.  Every one is gathering around and taking pictures and shedding tears. High school is only a few months away, and everyone is ready to close this chapter of their lives. Discussions of summer trips and high school plans surround me. Being in a Catholic school, this means that the first year of high school will separate us all. For the most part. Kind of. Actually, the girls that are crying the most are all going off to the same two schools, while I and my rag-tag group of pals are heading to completely different institutions. Before summer’s over, however, I have a few plans that I’m certain to see through: Tell the boy I have a crush on that I like him, and actually make some male friends. If Sarah Dessen’s books (my usual pool-side reading at this time) have led me to believe anything, it’s during these years that I’ll befriend either the sweet-but-shy guy next door or the mysterious rebel from a rough upbringing with a soft side under his hard exterior. And things will be unsure and rocky but first, but then we’ll realize we’re exactly what each other needs and fall in love. It has to happen. It happens to every 14-year-old girl.

I sat in front of my computer that fateful June night. Alternating between checking out the Shane West fan forum and Neopets, I tried my best to muster up courage. I sat there, weighing all my options. What if he says no? What if he says yes? What if we fall in love over the summer, then have to go our separate ways as we both journey on to different high schools, even though I’ll be attending an all-girls school and he’ll be attending an all-boys school and we’ll still be living and hanging out in the same places? Will we be able to handle that pressure? 

Ok. I can do this.  I thought to myself. Then, with shaky hands, I typed out those fateful words in AIM. “Could you tell Brian* that I really like him?” I sent to my friend Alicia*. We had a system in place. Plenty of times prior I had online-befriended different guys she liked and Instant Messaged them asking what their situations were, and if they were available, setting the stage for her to ask them out. Then when she was denied, I’d “accidentally” IM them saying that she could do better, and that they weren’t worthy of her time, using carefully worded statements that she would tell me to say. Now it was time to pay the piper and she was going to do me the solid of asking Brian out for me. It was a foolproof plan that guaranteed success.

I mean she’s nice and funny and all, but I don’t like her like that. D’oh. Now it’s time to do damage control. It’s okay, I can handle this. I’ve seen it a million times before in movies. I get the courage to reveal myself from behind the curtain and IM him. Hey. I know you don’t like me like that and it’s ok. I still think you’re really cool and I hope this doesn’t change anything between us. Maybe we can still be friends?

…….

Ok. 

Good enough for me. Every further encounter with Brian will be awkward and we’ll never actually speak again (nor were we the best of friends prior to my proposition) but there’s still a summer yet to come, and I’m sure to at least meet a cute lifeguard or something…

2003.

It’s the first summer of my high school career.  In between morning fights with my mother over getting up early enough to get to the local pool before the crowds and actually being at the overcrowded local pool, sweating in the sun, freezing in the water, and getting inevitably pissed at anyone who steps on my blanket or bumps into my chair, I actually found some time to hang out with my new high school friends! Well, we hung out once. But it was a blast! I and my two new besties went to the movies to see, the eagerly-anticipated by us, new Adam Sandler flick (my tastes circa this time period were questionable). Also, during this time, I discover that I have an in-explainable crush on Adam Sandler. After the movie we decided to take fun pictures in the photo-to-keychain booth. It was a blast! I laughed so hard I nearly pissed my pants. I was wearing light jeans and had to tie my over-sized monkey-laden hoodie around my waist. I think I spotted the aforementioned Brian. I think that coupled with my awesome chatting him up skills is why I still get weird looks from him when I occasionally run into him in a drunk trip to the food cart outside the local bar.

I spend the rest of my solitary summer reading more Sarah Dessen novels at the overcrowded pool, eying the cute, young lifeguard and imagining him in the roles as the fun male friend while I’m the not-so-sure of herself cute heroine who will eventually be wooed by him. It’s not until my mother more or less places a razor in my hand that I realize maybe there are some steps I still need to take to catch the eye of any potential summer love.

2004.

I discover a love for stand up comedy and Xanga. Some of my fondest memories of this time are posting humorous responses to silly survey questions while listening to No Cure for Cancer. I also discover that I have an in-explainable crush on Denis Leary. Watching Rescue Me with my mother and grandmother will prove to be some of the more awkward experiences of my life. My day times are spent between reading at the pool, still eying the lifeguard, and trying to figure out successfully shave those random patches near my ankles. (A feat I’ll still be unable to master some eight years later.)

2005.

My time is spent often at the nearby bowling alley and youth centers watching young, mostly awful punk bands play and lusting after lead singers who will never notice me. I swoon over them in my Xanga entries, respond only with their initials or lyrics when asked in surveys who it is I like, scour their band MySpaces for more info on my mysterious rocker guy loves. I also discover during this time that I have an in-explainable and highly regrettable crush on Dane Cook. I’ll listen to his CD while at the pool, realizing that this new batch of lifeguards aren’t quite punk rock enough for my liking.

2006.

First kiss, first boyfriend, first break up, prom, graduation, vacations with friends–who really remembers any of that stuff, anyway?  Also, I upgraded to LiveJournal.

 

Ah, summer. Who doesn’t love it? And remember, now matter what age you are, you can still enjoy this warm season of love and adventure. Live it up to the fullest extent. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have some survey questions to answer on Tumblr…

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*Names have been changed to protect  the identities of the people who will never read this blog. 

Current State

July 27, 2011