Summer Vacations Are Over


I just realized I’ll never have three solid months off for the summer ever again. And if we’re being totally honest, I’m not that sad about that. I never really loved summer vacation.

I grew up in a pretty rural area, but it wasn’t so rural that everyone else lived in a rural area….if that makes sense… Basically, I lived on 8.5 acres and my neighbors lived far away, but just a couple miles down the hill was a large development where tons of people lived pretty close to one another. We all went to school together, but I didn’t live close enough to them to spend hours upon hours every day making friends. I was a little bit of an outsider. While they all walked to each other’s houses every day in the summer, I stayed home with my sister and played in the yard, or did work in the little orchard we had, or made up stories by myself. My parents worked a lot, though they definitely did make efforts for me to have play dates with the other kids. It just wasn’t the same as living ten feet away from your best friend like all of the other kids did.

So my childhood was a little different from most kids’. I never minded much when I was little, because I didn’t realize there was an alternative. It helped me learn to entertain myself, and I got really comfortable being alone with my thoughts, which I think is super important and a little rare these days. I transferred to a high school in town when I was 14, and the same thing happened — I didn’t live near any of my friends, wasn’t able to just drop by. I loved high school and was really happy, so this wasn’t much of an issue, it was just different. My house was never the meeting place, because my house involved a 20 minute drive out of town.

Sometimes I drive through neighborhoods and see all the kids riding their bikes together, or walking to a corner mart, or just playing outside on someone’s lawn. I don’t know if I wish I’d had that childhood, really. It would’ve been nice to be able to be more social if I’d wanted, to have the typical high school experience you see in the movies where the best friend drops by all the time. But honestly, I’d be a different person. Those sorts of experiences change and shape you in ways we never really expect, so I don’t know who I’d be today. I’m sure I’d be lovely, but I happen to enjoy myself at the moment and I’m not terribly willing to change that.

So I didn’t care much for summer vacation, because summer vacation meant a lot of time alone. I’ll bet if I had those three months now I could find some really awesome things to do with some pretty awesome people, but I’m so excited to start my new job and make friends in this new city that there’s little that could make me want three months off of school or work.

It’s nice to be excited like this.

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Sleepless


I can’t sleep. It’s the middle of the night before I move out of my childhood home and into an apartment in a city, and I just cannot sleep. I keep wishing Puck or that Fairy King were around to chuck some sleep glitter at my face so I could just have that midsummer night’s dream I’ve been waiting for. Also…pardon the potential inaccuracies, it’s hard to remember the details of Shakespeare’s works when you’re SO EXHAUSTED YOU’RE GOING CROSS-EYED. 

I was super annoyed that I couldn’t sleep, and was laying in silence waiting to be bopped over the head by some sleep fairy, when a pack of coyotes started howling. To a lot of people, that’s weird, unsettling, or maybe even scary. But to me, it sounds like home. I grew up listening to them yip at night, and my dad always used to take me outside to listen to them. There’s something comforting about coyotes: they come from where I come from, with their clever eyes and timid glances, and they really do represent my home. 

So maybe I should reframe this experience: I got to stay up late and hear the coyotes one last time before I move away. I’m sure I’ll be back to visit and hear them outside my window, but it’ll be different. This time is perfect. 

Bye bye, home. Bye, coyotes. I’ll miss you. I think it’s time for sleep.