While scrolling through the 14-day weather forecast on my phone today, I had a rather jolting realization. Surprisingly enough, it had nothing to do with the weather; which, considering that I live in Canada is a huge feat.
Today I realized that within the next 14 days, I’ll be back at university for the final year of my undergraduate degree.
The most shocking part of that sentence isn’t even the fact that I’m going back for my last year (which realistically deserves a post on its own). Nope, the part I’m having a hard time processing is that it’s already time to go back.
Where have the last three months gone?
I wish I could say that the time has flown by in a haze of sunny fun and wild nights. But in all honesty, my summer has been totally suck-o. I’ve been pretty much constantly stressed and constantly working. My weeks have been occupied by the same routine: breakfast, errands, shower, get ready, work, shower, bed. Lather, rinse, and repeat.
Amidst the monotony, certain snapshots of the last three months of my life stand out. Some of these moments are completely mundane, but gave me the hope I needed at the time. Some are filled with so much pain and frustration, it’s difficult to think back and experience even a diluted version of the same emotions.
Being unhappy in the summer is even more difficult than being miserable in the winter. I felt like the bright sun and clear skies were mocking my grey mood. The warm breeze, cooling those enjoying the hot season, served as just another inconvenience for me. Social media became even more of a minefield to navigate, as it’s full of pictures of people making the most of their time off work or school. I resented the happiness and celebrations of my friends because I couldn’t enjoy my summer the same way they could.
After all, how dare the world continue to spin while I was having rough time?
These are the moments from my entirely forgettable summer:
I remember sitting on the last-minute flight I booked for a family emergency gazing out onto impossibly fluffy clouds. I was shivering, despite the oversized cocoon sweater I was wrapped in, wondering how I ended up in this situation. As we coasted through the cloudy skies, for an instant I thought of how nice it would be if the plane kept flying. If we could just keep on flying through the thick grey clouds, I wouldn’t have to deal with the problems that waited for me on the ground.
I remember driving home from work one particularly awful night, unable to stop the tears. I’m not typically an emotional person, so crying is usually a once or twice a year occurrence. That night I was hurting and confused and feeling everything I had repressed for the last several weeks. The relief that washed over me once my emotions became tangible was a necessary reprieve.
I remember rushing to unlock my front door so I could get out of the oppressive heat and being surrounded by the sweet smell of jasmine. We have a jasmine plant right outside of our house and it usually puts out a few flowers a day. With how busy we were, it had become neglected, leaving the flowers to collect on the concrete. When the breeze shifted, I was overcome by the floral fragrance. And that’s how I remembered to stop and smell the metaphorical roses.
I remember tossing and turning one night, trying to drown out my panic-inducing thoughts. I kicked off the sheets and sat up gasping in bed, trying to catch my breath. All of my worries threatened to close in on me at once, and I thought for a split second “There’s no way I can do this. I can’t handle it.” Somehow, that thought acted like a splash of cold water. I knew it wasn’t true. I could handle it. I forced myself to take several deep breaths and took the time to feel grounded. My moment of weakness transformed into a moment of strength. It was a reminder that I’m the one in control, and not my racing thoughts. I can and I will face the struggles that are thrown my way.
While I may not have made it to the beach this season, I was lucky enough to grow as a person. Every time I felt like I’d hit the bottom, I found more strength to pull myself up. Life can really freaking suck sometimes, but if you trudge forward, you’re rewarded with moments of beauty and peace.
I doubt I’ll be feeling any type of end-of-summer sadness this year. Autumn can come and get me.