Today is August 28, 2012, and for the first time in my memory I am not participating in the traditional mark of another summer gone. This morning, while my roommate was packing his backpack and looking at his schedule, I went through all the motions that I’ve gone through every day since May, and that I’ll go through every day for the foreseeable future. Today is not my first day of school. Today is just another day at work, just another day of the year.
My memory is punctuated by summers. Every year, time stops when the warm weather arrives, and I have the three months of blissfully suspended reality to reflect on the year and recharge. I’ve always traced my history not by my age, but by my summers. It’s a weird thing knowing that I might never again have those periods of reprieve by which to measure the passage of time.
My move to Charlottesville was a conscious decision to ease into adult-land. I could have been braver and moved alone to an unknown city. Instead I chose to relocate to a college town an hour away from my dad, and move in with my best friend. It’s been a gentle way for me to get the experiences of being an adult, but still have some of the comforts college afforded me (you know, like friends).
Even though this morning I rolled in to work at 8:49 (the same time as always), and I poured myself a cup of coffee (the same weak brown water as always), and settled in to a day in front of a computer (the same ancient model as always)…. I felt that familiar “another year older” sensation that comes with the shift from summer to fall.
Maybe that has to do with the sudden increase in activity on my street, or the UVA students I see bustling around the coffee shops on my way to work, or the peace that has fallen over my office now that the students are busy with school. But summer is distinctly over, and as a little reflection, I thought I’d do a little A-Z survey about my summer.
A: Available? Yes, I’m leaving Summer 2012 as single as I’ve ever been. And I’m cool with it. To be honest, I don’t know what I’d do with a boyfriend at this point in my life. Make him watch Pretty Little Liars with me?
B: Book? Best book I read all summer was Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. I made it through a couple books I didn’t really like, and right now I’m reading Swamplandia!, but I haven’t been as voracious of a reader as I have been other summers.
C: Crush? I’ve spent most of my time pining over Cyrus and Cheon on So You Think You Can, if I’m being honest.
D: Dog? On May 25, 2012, I rescued Millifred Beyonce (Millie for short) from the perils of life as a Craigslist listing. It’s had it’s ups and downs, and I’m still learning to manage the headaches I get when she barks, but when she curls up next to me in bed, or makes her little Millie groaning noises, or gets all hyper in Alex’s back yard… there’s no doubt in my mind that getting a dog was a great decision.
E: Easiest person to talk to? I am so lucky to live with Alex, and I’m even luckier that I’ve made so many more amazing friends this summer. Annie, Conor, Aaron, Sam, Apurva, Frances, Ian…. I honestly feel like I could talk to them all about anything. And I’m really happy to be able to report that I’ve kept in close contact with almost all of my best friends from school. I’ve even had visits from Suzanne, Lauren, Kristin, Colleen, and Molly!
The easiest to talk to, though, has be be Conor. I’m excited that I have him around for midnight emergency “I need to get this off my chest” talks. That boy’s a good egg.
F: Food? Man-oh-man have I had some good food. The best meal I’ve had out all summer was probably the brunch I had at Pigeon Hole a few weeks ago. The best homemade meal I had was the zucchini ribbons with pesto Annie made in July.
G: Gym? Still haven’t found a gym in Charlottesville that I’m willing to pay for. I’ve been getting my exercise through runs and at-home work outs. (I’m all about doing HIIT through one episode of The Hills, and then strength through another. Excellent 40 minute workout.)
H: Home? Loving my little apartment. Loving home improvement project. Loving all of it. I truly feel at home in my place, which is so so so nice. But home really is where the heart is, and I think my heart is pretty settled in Charlottesville.
I: If you could move, would you? I would not. This is where I’m supposed to be. Like I said, my heart is here.
J: Job? My job could be described as a “dead end”, but I can’t hate a job where I can write blog posts all day, meet cool people, and chat with my silly co-workers. Pam, the only other woman in my office, is like a second mom to me sometimes, and I am so grateful to have her in my life. And it doesn’t hurt when I come home with flowers or a bottle of wine from one of the people I manage.
K: Kids? For the first time in forever, my summer hasn’t revolved around children. I’m a child-care veteran, so the fact that I babysat only once this summer is really unusual.
L: Longest car trip? I took Nate down to Charleston for the start of his Bike and Build trip! I think that was 7 hours down and back? And I did it all in 24 hours! It was honestly some of the most fun I’ve had all summer, chatting in the car, eating good food, drinking wine, and seeing my best friend off for the trip of a lifetime.
M: Movie? I have seen AMAZING movies this summer. From rewatching Clueless and Cruel Intentions, to seeing Moonrise Kingdom and Beasts of the Southern Wild in theaters… It’s been a good summer for cinema.
N: Number of mental breakdowns? Only one serious one! At the beginning of the summer, too! I’ve been doing a really good job keeping an attitude of gratitude, and the breakdown at the beginning of the summer was largely due to the exhaustion of moving.
O: One thing you wish was different? I wish that I hadn’t put on weight this summer. I didn’t put on too much, and I’m juuuust starting to feel like I have it back under control (knock on wood), but I wish that I had felt more prepared for how different desk-life would be. And I wish that my parking space was closer to my apartment.
P: Plans for the future? My only real plans that I’m looking forward to in fall are getting a TV antennae so I can watch Happy Endings on the night it airs, and seeing the Avett Bros. in October! Wsup, living in the present!
Q: Quote that describes your summer? I love the Pinterest favorite, “Bloom where you are planted.” If you are put some place, take total advantage of it and be the best person you can be in that situation. I certainly am trying!
R: Reason to smile? There are countless things that make me smile every single day. Some of my favorites are the squishy face that Millie gets when she lays on the couch, the comfort of knowing that my best friend lives across the hall, and the daily “just checking in” phone calls from my parents.
S: Song of the summer? I have been in a music rut, largely due to the fact that I don’t spend a lot of time studying any more and I can’t listen to music at my desk. The majority of the music that I listen to is work out music, but I’ve loved “Take a Walk” by Passion Pit, “Crazy Girl” by Eli Young Band (not sorry about the country), and the whole Grouplove album. I’m reallllly looking forward to new Mumford & Sons and Avett Brothers.
T: Time you greet the day? I’m an early riser these days! 7am on weekdays!
U: Something Unexpected? I didn’t expect to like my job so much, if I’m being honest. And I also didn’t expect that it would be so freaking hot.
V: Veggies? Since I last talked about my flexetarianism, I’m still dabbling in white meat. I’m enjoying turkey wraps for lunch, and chicken about once a week. But most of the time I forget that I even eat white meat, and I just make something veg. I can’t get enough broccoli or orange pepper these days. Nom nom.
W: Worst new habit? Probably drinking more than usual. But I kicked it!
X: Best eXperience? I feel like I would be remiss in my summer review if I didn’t mention the 3 weeks in the beginning of the summer (pre-Year of Katie) that I squatted in Nate’s apartment with Alex, Aaron, Conor, and two of Nate’s roommates. I definitely learned a lot about myself in those 3 weeks living with 5 boys.
Also, this might seem small, but when Alex and I were invited to dinner at his boss’ house, it was truly one of the best nights of my summer. Amazing conversation with wonderful people, and making a relationship with Christine (his boss) led to an invitation to join her book club!
Y: Youth? (Okay so there aren’t any good words for Y, bear with me here.) I’m definitely feeling like an adult. I really do feel older than most of my friends in CVille, but I have this “I’m young! I need to seize these opportunities!” attitude that I definitely don’t want to lose.
I’m gonna end my review with with Y (I haven’t been to any zoos, and my zodiac sign had been the same this summer as it’s always been), but looking back I think the letters of the summer were A and G, for adjustment and growth. I’ve had an wonderful summer. I wouldn’t say it was my best, but I wouldn’t change any of it.
Here’s to fall in Charlottesville, the most beautiful place in the world.