I will become myself again

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I will become myself again

For nine months of the year, dreams of summer fill my mind, crowding out any other thoughts. 

After all, how could I think about anything else? 

I yearn for the feeling of waking up well-rested, independent of my blaring alarms. I crave the lazy days spent around my house counting dots on popcorn ceiling and flying through movies that I have put off for months. My skin itches for the feeling of a cool breeze that cuts mercilessly through the air, providing temporary relief in the midst of a humid day. I miss guiltlessly staying up through the night doing whatever my heart desires, untroubled by any responsibilities. 

For nine months, I wait. My life is governed by the sluggish ticking of time; the clock hands move as if they are being dragged through maple syrup. There is nothing that I can do to hasten the arrival of summer, but I trust that it will come. Summer is a faithful and dependable friend, and no matter how late it shows up, not a year passes where I do not see it. 

Before I know it, summer wanders within my sight. I spend months in anticipation of its arrival every year, and I know it will never fail me in its return. Even so, I cannot help but to become completely enchanted by the transition from spring to summer. 

The air cultivates a distinct spirit, lively from the energy of restless schoolchildren counting down the days left in class. The sky seems to grow even bluer; the clouds that paint it are pure and carefree, each stroke lovingly deliberate. Small patches of wildgrasses burst with life, insects jumping from blade to blade. 

My battered planner reminds me every day how close I am to summer. Stuffy mornings are accompanied by the drone of the air conditioning, and the fake breeze that escapes through the vents chills the end of my bed. The coffee that wakes me up every morning stops scalding my tongue and starts cooling me down with each heavenly sip. 

My friends and I beg for summer to come, tugging on its sleeve. We succeed one June morning, and summer bursts through the atmosphere like the students who so fiercely run from the classrooms that have been keeping them captive. There’s still a ways to go before the summer solstice, but that information is worthless to the desperate teenagers who have not woken up well-rested for months on end. Summer gives in to our prayers, exchanging its sleeve for my hand and grasping it firmly. 

At long last, the lazy days of summer arrive.

I do not hear my alarm for weeks. I open my blinds to let the sun’s rays in every day, natural light warming every surface in my room. I sit outside reading for hours on end, and I feel like I am one with the forest that surrounds me. Time loses all meaning, and I let myself enjoy every hour of the day as I please, unrestricted by schedules. My dreams of summer are fulfilled, and for a while, I am almost glad to live them out forever. 

But summer always makes me numb. 

Sunny days cause drowsy spells, and I find myself dozing off to the steady whir of bugs chanting in perfect unison. I surrender to the comfortable rhythms of my daily routine of doing little to nothing. I let myself be satisfied with the safety of my room, isolating myself from anything that lies beyond my front door. For weeks, nothing changes. 

Not much time passes before I realize that I am not content to keep on living like this. I am not content sitting idly and letting time pass me by, leaving me for dust. I am not content to be unchanging. I am not content living in the summer. 

I want to feel again. I don’t know what exactly I want to feel, but I know that for an entire summer, I have not felt like myself. I have not felt anything at all. Instead of savoring the days that I have dreamed of for months, I have spent the entire summer simply waiting to become myself again. 

Now, the crisp morning air reminds me to grab a jacket on my way to the bus. I shed it in the afternoon, but the heavy fabric in my hands assures me that better days lie ahead. While a new season has yet to fully arrive, the burden of summer is released a bit more with each sunrise. 

I don’t know what autumn will bring, but I hope that I will feel like myself again.

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