Thursday, September 8, 2011

Summer 2011 - An Experiment in Being 30 in the Summer: Without Expectations, Everything is Awesome and, Coincidentally, Unexpected

There are 15 days of summer left.

Well, unless you go by meteorological season changes, in which case a.) summer is over and b.) hey asshat, in Chicago much of our year is spent in the cold, grey, deadness of wintry weather…so take your opinions elsewhere.*

*Admittedly, I was that asshat about a week ago when I got excited over pumpkin spice, sweaters and apple orchards.  I apologize.  I’m trying to be in the acceptance stage of grieving over the impending loss of beautiful weather and trees that are lush and green in exchange for bare, skeletal fingers reaching up to flip off Old Man Winter and his sick, frigid grey joke that lasts from late October to early May.  **

**Although, that’s perfect blanket, pj, and movie night inside weather.***

***Who am I kidding?  After Christmas and New Years, winter makes me want to run screaming, bare naked, right into the goddamned sun itself.

What was I saying?  Oh yes, 15 days of summer left.  Bittersweet?  I dunno…maybe.

So, I thought I’d reflect on the summer of my 30th year, and also maybe generate some excitement about autumn and all its upcoming red, gold, and yellow, cinnamon spice and pumpkin-filling glory.  

And gourds.  God damn do I love gourds. 

Summer 2011 – An Experiment in Being 30 in the Summer: Without Expectations, Everything is Awesome and, Coincidentally, Unexpected.

This is a picture of a tiny turtle.  That's all.

 My 2011 Summer started out pretty normally.  I was stoked to open my summer clothes box which I had packed away last fall, and to push my sweaters to the back of the closet.  I looked forward to setting up my garden with my mom and to spending time with Max.  I was excited about not wearing a coat, driving to Chicago with the sunroof open, and walking to theaters for shows and rehearsals without fear that my breasts or ladyparts would freeze off and fall to the ground, shattering into a million icy flesh shards. 

 Of course, it would be much different than last summer when I was unemployed and could enjoy every day as I pleased, save for the crippling fear that gnawed at me from the darkest depths of my financial uncertainty.  

But still…

…it was a summer vacation.  An actual summer vacation.  And for the most part, I survived the unemployment part unscathed.  

But this summer I had part-time work, which meant that I would only be enjoying the glorious gifts of Momma Summertime on weekends or days off.  But that was fine by me.

The official start of Summer 2011 (again, NOT meteorologically) was Tuesday, June 21st.  

But I spent much of early June in a summertime state of mind.  Max started vacation.  The days got longer and warmer.  I anticipated my 2nd annual 4th of July party, and upcoming shows (one of which I was asked to do by a remarkable group of people who have just made the whole experience a complete joy.  Thank you SCREWED crew and C.L.O.A.K.A.  I can’t believe our run is almost over!  It has been super awesome.  Seriously.), and basically just hanging out and enjoying summertime as I saw fit.

So when June 21st hit, and the green-light to start calling this season “Summer” flickered on, I already had a running start.

In retrospect, I find it extremely fitting that just about 3 days into to Official Summer, in addition to all of the awesomeness already going on, a new dab of awesomesauce splooshed onto my tray while in line for the Summertime Funtacularaganza Buffet.  

Now we all know at this point that Summer 2011 marked the momentous occasion of my Aloof, Unavailable, Ice Queendom coming to a halt with the intervention of my first date in over a year and a half. 

We also all know that I’ve mentioned the gentleman caller responsible for this epic feat a few times.

And finally, it’s been mentioned that because I’m pretty darned happy and excited to just be exploring this whole thing, I’m off the market, so to speak. 

Again, you can read about all of these things in the links I’ve provided.  (But if you loved me, if you truly, truly loved me, you’d have already read them.  Unless you’re new.  In which case, ignore that statement.  Hey! Welcome to my random life musings. Fasten your seat belts and enjoy the ride, bitches!)

That splooshing of awesomesauce, combined with a plethora of other incredible moments with friends and improv and karaoke and Max and days on the patio has made this one unforgettable summer.  

I’ve had a lot of fun over the past 79 days.  And man, it’s flown by so incredibly fast.  Seriously, it just doesn’t even feel like it’s been that long.  But seeing how I just saw some dead leaves scattered across the parking lot on my cigarette break, I know that it has.  And I know that autumn is slowing making its way into the city.

As one final fist bump to Summer, Laughs and I are taking a mini-vacation to a place I’ve never been before, which is super exciting.  I’ve literally been peeing my pants in excitement every day since the tickets were booked.  Okay, not literally. 

Maybe literally.

I’ll let that one be.  You decide if I’m an excited pants-wetter.  

And then, a few short days later (September 23rd – which is exactly one month before I turn 31), Fall will officially grace us with its presence.

And just like summer, I will be ready.  I will leap in headfirst to its leaf piles and apple cider, without expectation.  I will walk tall towards winter--and 31--with all the confidence and openness to just let things be and see what wonderful things may happen and lessons I may learn.  

Summer 2011 taught me to shuck expectation to the curb in order to make room for the unexpected, which can be precisely what you never knew you were looking for, but exactly what you wanted. 

And that’s how I’ll approach Fall 2011. 


*Winter 2011, however, I can only promise not to have expectations about how my experiences play out. 

I will readily be expecting to offend my neighbors with the loud and crude expletives I will undoubtedly spew while trying to shovel my rather large parking pad.  (Alternatively, however, it’s the perfect time to discover new offensive swear words.  So I guess it’s kind of a win.)

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