grown-up time, and the living is pleasing

Summer is my favorite time of the year, even though 108-degree temperatures are not fun. Summer evenings in Tucson are beautiful, and this year there aren’t even any junebugs to ruin it (although the fact that they are nowhere to be seen is probably indication of some awful climate change issue). I love summer, and usually it’s characterized by a feeling of renewal, relief, and regained stamina for my writing. Usually it involves international, or at least transcontinental, travel. Usually it involves supplementing my education with summer school or enrichment of some kind, like swim team when I was young or surrealism classes at the Poetry Center when I was in college.

This summer isn’t bad, but it’s certainly not magical or refreshing in the way I’m used to. First, it’s not summer vacation. It’s just summer the season, and I’ve been out of school for six months, and I’m still just a working stiff. Still working various part-time jobs, but I’m actually really enjoying my main job. This is surprising to me, because my main job is teaching, and I’ve always insisted that I will never be a teacher. But not only do I like it, but I’m finding curriculum planning to be awesome, and I now know that teaching middle or high school (or even community college, since what I’m teaching now is a high school program at the community college) is a viable backup option for me that I might actually be decent at.

Still, the fact that I teach all day and then go work in an office doing administrative tasks means that I feel impossibly grown up and like the magic of summer is lost to me. Where are the dusk breezes? Where are the poems? Where are the new friends? Where are the mentors? Where are the airplanes? Where is the currency conversion? I’ve traded those things for paychecks, happy hour with coworkers, time with my family, podcasts, and mornings at the gym. I’m early to bed, early to rise. I cook food and eat dinner alone. I cross stitch and watch DVDs from Netflix. And mostly, I like it.

It strikes me this summer that even though I thought I would leave everything from high school behind, pretty much the only people I remain close with, and who I see myself being lifelong friends with, are people I went to high school with and people who live far away because I only know them from summer programs. These people are my life and my summer. In many ways I feel as if my life started in January, after college graduation, and I don’t really dwell on anything that happened before. I like living my life this adult way, but it’s also exhausting, and now I really can’t wait for September. Small bouts of adulthood before the real thing in a few years seems like a good way to go.

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