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Sunny days...


Here's a secret:

I'm actually having a summer this year.

Up until the end of high school, summers were a great time. Sleeping late. Running out with friends on weeknights until all hours of the night (within reason. I did have parents). Going swimming all the time.

Once I got to college, summers and I parted ways. Every summer in college I had some sort of internship or job that kept me from having a true summer experience. I never spent a summer in Europe. I never took a long roadtrip. I worked, saved money, went swimming once or twice when I had time, but mostly spent my summer trying to get ahead, as if just resting for those months would put me irretrievably behind in the race of life.

It's been even more like that since I graduated from college. Summers are not times when I try to balance what I wear to work with how hot it is outside. Nothing too heavy. But not so light and casual that I end up looking like I just don't give a damn anymore.

This takes place in the summer. At the Om Festival. My perfect summer does not include monsters like this.

Photo by: Leanne

Spending your summer inside an office, with huge open windows facing green, sunny areas, quite simply sucks. Typing on your computer and looking out the window and seeing a team rowing across Town Lake. Well, that sucks too. Getting out of your car and walking in 100 degree heat and then dreading the moment you have to go on an interview or anything else that will take you from your cool, air-conditioned building. You better believe that sucks.

This year feels different, though. The heat doesn't seem as bad. Being in the office doesn't seem so confining. In fact, with all the work changes lately, it hasn't felt much like Deprivation Summer 2001 at all. And with this vacation I'm taking now, I actually feel something that summer used to give me: A restful, contented, lazy feeling. A feeling not that time is moving too quickly, the way it always seems to, but more of a feeling that things are moving at a managable pace. I feel, wonderfully, this: There is enough time. There's enough summer left. Everything is fine.

I'm making plans for trips soon. I may go to Toronto. I may (much weaker may here, but it's still an option) go to the Chicago Journalcon in October. There was talk earlier this year of Europe or Florida and that may happen, too. Where I used to freak out about trips (I'm absolutely awful about planning anything way in advance), I actually feel calm about it. "It's just money," I think. Even if I go into debt. Experiences, travel, memories. All that's so much more important.

On Monday, I'll have to go back to work. I'll have to sit at that desk, and look out at a sunny day I'm not a part of and there will be that moment when I wonder when 6:15 is going to arrive.

But right now, staying up late at night and writing into the wee hours without worry that I'll have to get up groggy and sleep-deprived to drag myself to work, it feels like a long and bright summertime.


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