Tuesday, June 10, 2014

The Coming And The Going

"She wondered what it would be like 
to live in a world where it was always June..." 
-LM Montgomery

I feel like it was just yesterday I was fifteen years old, not feeling quite like a child anymore, but certainly not an adult yet either. I vividly remember craving summer nights of cruising around in cars with my friends, windows down, our music blaring through quiet neighborhoods. I yearned for summer nights on the sand, catching a good buzz off some cheap strawberry wine, not worrying about a curfew or having to call my parents. I wanted winter, but only for my birthday, and when that passed, I wanted summer. I wanted it to be summer every single day of my life. I wanted it now.

"Dad, I can't wait to be an adult and take days off from work in June to go on trips and go to the beach and do whatever I want",  I would scream on cold, frustrating nights full of homework and fights with my sister or girlfriends.

"Don't wish your life away", he always said.

Now I'm 27, and it seems like I still wait all year for summer. Every December, even when my brain is decorated with holiday cheer, excitement for family to visit, and anticipation of the first snowfall, I find myself asking people, even strangers, is it summer yet??? They tell me no, but that Christmas is almost here, then comes the new year, and before you know it, summer will fly by and we'll be back here to this spot again. Really? Can't we just live in a world full of morning dew, tan feet, pool days, and endless bonfires? Can't we, can't we?

When June arrived this year, as usual, I took out my calendar, and planned trips and days off from work to do whatever I want. In fact, I'm doing exactly that this Friday to celebrate my boyfriend's birthday. I'm an adult now, I can do that!! It's June, and it's almost officially summer, and I can get tan and stay out all night on the weekends and go to concerts and games and cookouts and everything else. And just other day, driving home from work anxious to beat the traffic and get home early enough, I called my dad. "Dad, I can't wait for Friday. I can't wait for my sunburn to fade. I can't wait for next weekend. I can't wait for the 4th of July, and August, and the whole Summer needs to get here now!! I can't wait!!"

"Don't wish your life away," he said again. "Not while you're young. Time is everything, and you have a lot of it..." And suddenly, I was back in my old house, a fifteen year old girl, confiding in my diary that no one understood me. That I needed a break, that I needed peace. That I needed it to be June when school was over for a couple months.

And with that memory came the bold realization that more than twelve years have passed since those confusing nights when I felt like no one got me. I really wish I could tell my fifteen year old self what I know now. June will come. It always does. And it will leave, but it will come again. 

With my phone wedged between my shoulder and neck, hands clenched on the steering wheel, I felt my throat get dry, a pause in my voice. "I know Dad, thanks for reminding me. You always have the best advice..."