Back in my younger (and far stupider) days, at the start of every summer, my friends and I would play a game we called Oven. We’d wait for the first really hot day and pile on layers of clothes, get in the car with the windows rolled up, and drive around the heat blasting. The first person to have to bail out was obviously the loser. Sometimes I think back on this game and wonder 1) what made us so masochistic, 2) why no one ever thought to say “uh, this is foolish”, and 3) why I would never even think of playing this game now; namely, because I am a wuss. Even sitting with the air conditioning on, I still feel uncomfortable having a warm laptop resting on my legs.
These days, the start of summer is of course the first day I don’t have to go to school. I’ve been looking forward to being on vacation for so long that I think at this point my yearning for it lasted longer than my actual summer will. This past school year was a rough one, the hardest since I started in my district in 2005. The last week of school was so awful I could barely bring myself to even think about it once I left the building. Luckily, this year I had so many other amazing things going on in my life that it wasn’t like I was slumping through all these months feeling depressed, but it was definitely hard enough that I often felt like even talking about it was a burden to Jay, my friends, and my family.
And now, it’s over. I don’t have to go back there for months. I should feel elated, right? The burden has been lifted! I can head to the beach RIGHT NOW THIS VERY INSTANT if I wanted to! Instead I woke up this morning feeling as anxious as ever. What gives, brain? Can you give a girl a break? Why do I need to be up at 7 am doing dishes and thinking about what books I should have added to the summer reading list and why all the apartments on craigslist are so expensive?
I think I’ve been spending so much time trying to convince myself that if I make it to the end of the school year, all my worries about it would magically disappear. It feels disappointing to realize they’re still here. I guess maybe I need to give my brain more than twelve hours to adjust to being in vacation mode, but man, I really hope that relaxed NPW shows up soon. She’s been missed.