The season has only just begun to change over to summer and already the air is so thick it feels suffocating. Tank tops and flip flops are more of a necessity than a fashion statement now, as the heat index continues to rise, and dates on calendars are scribbled in with words like “Sarah’s Wedding” or “Pete’s BBQ” or “Anna’s Visit” or “NKOTB/BSB Concert!!!”
It’s the time when we take advantage of the sunshine and warmth to move things forward and get things done, and while in past years I would count down to the end of school or scheduled days off from work so that I can spend my vacation getting Jetta ready for road trips or afternoons reading poolside, this year feels different.
This year, the heat feels so heavy, so stifling, so oppressive.
Maybe it’s because, suddenly, life is feeling this way, too.
At a time when every day has something scheduled and planned, I find myself craving solitude and introspection; yet, in those rare hours I have to myself, it’s the thing I most dread. Maybe it’s because I’ve spent the past four months inside my own mind, using my own knack for internal reflection as an escape from the cold and loneliness of a barren winter. Maybe it’s because I’ve spent the past year working towards these goals that seem to finally be moving in a measurable direction, one in which I can see a clear and defined end, rather than blindly wandering that path and hoping it’s the right one, hoping it’ll all mean something.
Maybe this is why, more than anything, I’m craving spontaneity, to have no idea where the next moment will take you, or the next, or the next, or the next after that. Maybe this is why I long to just throw my hands out and lift my face to the summer sky and dance in dizzying circles and exclaim,
“Bring it, Universe! What’s next?”
Ok, Universe. What’s next…
I’m anxious for change. And as someone who is resistant to most change, as someone who already made a huge life-change barely a full year ago, this is saying something. I want something more, and while every day brings me a little closer to the joy and happiness I was desperate to find during the hazy months of winter, I find I’m still only content – wondering if I’m too busy working for that happiness that I’m forgetting about finding peace here, now.
So here I am, stuck in the middle, everything already begun and still so far from over.
And with that sentence, I realize that it’s not just these projects I’m talking about – these projects that can succeed brilliantly or fail spectacularly. Rather, it’s how I feel about it all, about this life, about growing up. I’m not that teenager anymore who dreams about the day she’ll have a career and a house and a family and all her dreams coming true. And I’m not in a place where I can look back yet, content at my small successes, but successes all the same, and the life I’ve lived and how I loved.
I’m in the middle, knowing how life can change in a heartbeat, ready for that change, but not wanting things to change so much that everything I’ve worked for will be reduced to only once-upon-a-time dreams that are never accomplished.
If I can’t succeed, I want at least the chance to fail spectacularly.
I want it all to mean something. I want my life to mean something, to be worth it.
And I want to keep trying, keep changing, keep failing if that’s what it takes to keep moving forward, to keep doing, keep growing, keep trying to make a difference. Even if that difference never feels like enough.
I want to believe that everything I’m doing is for a reason, that I can one day be at that place in time where I can look back and say, “Ok, Universe. Well done.”
But for now, I’m just here.
Trying to find peace. Trying to find balance.
All the while waiting, remaining only in the center of things.