It’s the dead of summer, a time not as talked about as the dead of winter, but it’s still really felt around here. These extreme seasons and their oddities. (I talk about the weather a lot) Spring and Fall are lovely & delicious and not nearly as uncomfortable or as complex for me as the depths of summer & winter. We’re at the halfway point. Our circles of friends and family and other life are in and out of vacations, and in and out of our lives. There are more heat wave warnings this time of year. The reality that I certainly don’t think about in spring or early summer is that fall and then winter will actually come back, despite my denial of these facts. Around this time of year I actually do crave the crisp, pumpkin-spiced air of autumn. Late July and August are oppressively hot and humid. It’s always a weird time for me. It’s also my birthday time – tomorrow.
Like I said, a weird, weird time. I’ve been rereading the whole “Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants” series in honor of their latest adventure book, on hold now at my local library. They’re about my age in the new book. I can’t wait to hear where their lives took them. Their lives were measured by magical and painful summers. I feel mine are too.
When I was 16, I had a strange summer. It was the summer I went on a Canadian journey of self-discovery written about here. I had gone to Vermont/New Hampshire to visit my grandparents and to NOT see moose (drat) and I was back for a week or two because going to explore upstate New York and Canada. I had a lot of friends at that time. I am a social butterfly when I want to be, and quite antisocial those other times. I don’t think any or all of my friends were away but I hadn’t heard from them. In fact, I was petty enough to make a written list of people who hadn’t called me back. Back then, it was a crime not to call someone back. These days, it’s the norm. (And I am so, so sorry about that, people of my life. After my tornado of a two-year-old is finally in bed, I need a few minutes to collect myself and then I usually pass out in front of Food Network) Back then, I felt so disconnected. In reality, they probably thought I was still away, I thought they were, we were all heat-dazed and antisocial in our air-conditioned homes. Maybe they all had kick-ass birthday presents for me and were afraid to talk to me to spoil the surprise? Who knows! All I know is that we weren’t talking to each other or hanging out.
I have felt that way recently. This time of year is harder than I remember. A couple of good friends went away, I went away, now that a lot of us have kids, we need more time to decompress and adjust to time schedules when we arrive home. Heck, I remember taking a red eye from California, arriving in Newark, NJ at around 7:00am, getting my car, driving home to shower, and going to work back in 2006! Life, pre-kids. So dramatically different.
In the summer I was 16, the disconnect ended suddenly. All of the friends on my petty list called me back. Probably within an hour of each other. It was eight people long! Just like that, the isolation bubble burst and I was back on the radar. The disconnect had ended. I felt loved and supported again. It was as if I had been releasing, “Stay Away From Me” vibes into the universe and my vibes had been temporarily answered. And then, somehow I sent, “Come Back To Me” vibes into the universe and those vibes were immediately answered. That happens sometimes.
Similarly last week, just when I thought I couldn’t take the disconnect anymore, everything changed. A friend voiced the same disconnect concerns I had also been feeling. More friends came out of the woodwork. I wound up seeing and speaking to about ten more people than I had expected to speak to that day. It was just like that. A snap of the fingers, a burst of an isolation bubble. I was back on the radar. Back on the satellite. I was so there.
And it felt so good, so good.