Wednesday, December 13, 2006


Earlier today I wrote something in an email to a friend and I'm going to sort of echo here what I wrote there because to me it's the easiest way to explain my state of mind now.

This has been the longest summer ever...and I don't feel like it's ended yet for so many reasons. Summer is always when I feel the worst on most levels; anything I'm not satisfied with in life feels magnified each summer: finances, personal life, professional choices, geography, etc. Normally, I trudge throught it all, knowing that with every day of heat and suffocation, I am closer to the relief of fall, the clarity of winter.

Yes, I know, I know...most people don't understand my love of cold weather. I get that, and I have actually been ridiculed for it. And guess what. I don't really understand my love of fall and winter anymore than other people do, nor do I understand it more than I understand the way other people seem to enjoy sweating in the filthy summer air. I just know that I am a better person during the cold time of year; everything feels right for me then. I can think more clearly, make better choices, enjoy life more. For whatever reason, that's just the way it is for me.

Normally, July is a killer and August is plain unbearable. But the thing about August is that it's when relief is in sight...the end of August is the beginning of September, and that's when I know everything is going to be ok. Somehow, by no planning of my own, I always end up sitting alone in some coffeehouse writing in my journal every August 31st. Of course, that could be because I have spent most of my adult life sitting in coffeehouses writing in my journal. But every year for the past several, I'll be sitting there and I'll notice that it's August 31st, usually around 10-something at night and that I only have two or so more hours left of August, which for me is officially the end of the summer, even though it doesn't technically end until mid-september. And every year, upon this realization, I sigh audibly and give myself a little pat on the back for making it through my least favorite time of year in one piece (and more importantly, with the people around me in one piece).

However, it's always about way more than just temperature. I generally enjoy the momentum of life better in the fall and winter months, while summer for some reason feels like a gap in life. Maybe it's because I have spent most of my life in or teaching school, so summer often has been when things stop for me, and I don't like that.

This past one has been the worst ever. Staring last spring, everything fell to pieces. Everything. Emotionally, financially, and in every other way, this has been the hottest, longest summer ever. And not just because I moved to south florida. Even though the calendar says it's now December, in so many ways, I haven't felt the release of fall yet, not literally or figurative speaking. Whenever I go into the living room right now, I'm surprised to see the Christmas tree, as I sometimes forget it isn't still August, because I've remained in an August state of mind for months.

Some things are coming up for me, though, and I am beginning to think that my own September is finally on its way. For example, on December 29th I am scheduled to officially interview for the promotion to assistant store manager. The company calls that my panel date, which is actually a scarier term to me than just interview. It entails meeting with my district manager and two high-ranking store managers (who are soon-to-be district managers) for at least a couple hours. I have no doubt in my mind that I will be a great assistant manager and then eventually store manager, but the interview is what intimidates me a tad. On the other hand, I feel confident that it will go well, which means a significant promotion and lots of opportunities to get my life back on track.

I also have some plans for my non-professional life in the works right now, and I'm debating some options. I'm not going into detail here until I have made some further decisions, but the point is that I am beginning to feel that momentum of life returning to me and I am remembering what it is to like myself again, to know that I am capable and deserving of whatever wishes and dreams I pursue. I'm changing the things I don't like about my life. I'm moving on.

Sometimes in August, it's hard to believe the relief will ever come. Sometimes I'm almost convinced that my world will stay hot, paralyzed, and polluted forever. But logically I know that September has to come. It always has and always will. No matter how hard it is to conceive of the changes that will take place, the arrival of September is a fact, which requires only my patience. Just as on early September nights when I feel hints of that cool, cleansing energy which brings about the drastic changes of fall, I now believe those same changes will finally occur in my life. They have to. They always do. It's finally the end of August for me. It's been the longest summer ever.


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