Summer has just been birthed.
People are graduating high school wondering what they are going to do with their lives. Some are graduating college wondering what they are going to do with their lives. Then there are those stuck in limbo; a.k.a. “summer vacation”. But, this is a limbo they enjoy.
Swimming. Going to the beach. Camping. Seeing friends. Staying out late. Hooking up in the back of your car because you couldn’t do it during the winter. (It’s a lot easier when you’re not dressed like eskimos.)
No pressure to do anything other than live.
I remember those days. When the only thing I look forward to after the last day of school/class was the realization that I didn’t have to do shit for the next three months.
Wanna stay up for 24 hours playing Call of Duty? Sure. How about starting your day at 4PM? Who’s gonna stop me. Spending a whole week sleeping at friends’ places just because you can? BITCH I MIGHT BE.
I loved being able to revert back to an age where the only care was if I had enough fun today. If not, I’d make it up tomorrow. It was a time where every dream became reality; even if that meant riding a bike trail or taking pictures. All because I had no expectation of tomorrow.
I have expectations now. These expectations are that these free summers will eventually become a memory. In some sense, they already have.
My first shackled summer was in 2011. I took summer classes to “get ahead” in my college degree. To my surprise, I received my first A in my college career. Maybe this had something to do with the obligatory amount of alcohol in my system. Or I was a pretty smart stoner. Regardless if drugs, or lack thereof, influenced my success that summer semester, I realized I just sold out.
I was once told that in the real world, working nine to five, summer becomes just another season. It loses its lustful appeal. I didn’t understand what that meant. Even after my first session of summer classes, I still had no idea. Here’s how I learned my lesson:
I BURNED THE HELL OUT.
Spring, summer, fall. No break. Just academia for a straight year. Sure, I got Spring Break (one week), a break before summer session (10 days), a break before fall semester (two weeks), Thanksgiving (three days), and after finals in the fall (two-three weeks). Do the math.
I’m not complaining about having no free-time to unwind and reflect; but I decided to it in 2012 and once more this upcoming summer. Why? Because, after I burned out, and rose again like the Phoenix, I realized that I might as well start getting used to the anti-summer:
A summer devoid of endless socializing, endless sleep, endless amounts of doing whatever the hell I pleased. It would then be replaced with work. In my current situation more school.
Now, I find myself bored to the point of suicide if I didn’t have class during summer. It gives me purpose. The same sense of purpose I had with each new summery day back then. Adventure has become predictability. Care-free has become responsibility. Priorities have shifted from short-time happiness, to long-term contentment. We all have a vision of where we want to be, sometimes that requires sacrifice. That’s the price of growing up.
So maybe I won’t see my friends as much as I want. I doubt I’ll even get drunk. Maybe this is karma for all the debauchery I commit during the actual school year. As punishment, I become the antithesis of myself. No, not as punishment, but for redemption.
I become anti-summer.