I remember when summer was a time to relax and enjoy a break from responsibility. Now, I see summer as a step up in the grind of surviving as a young adult. I relish in the days of lounging pool-side without a care. Cruising around town with the windows down, sun in my eyes and wind in my hair is the memory of summer I cherish.
Ever since graduating high school I long for the days when summer break actually meant a break from school, work and the mountains of stress that comes with it. These days I see summer break as an opportunity to pile on more hours at work in exchange for a little extra spending money in my budget. Staying out late at night became turning out the lights before ten. Reading in the backyard turned into slaving over books and crunching numbers. Every beautiful, sunny day is spent in doors hunched over at a desk while the world shines outside my window.
College brought forth a new world that was difficult for a freshly-graduated kid like me to grasp. Work took priority in those summer months. Bills were to be paid and deadlines to be met. The real world was a place that was unfamiliar and a little bit frightening. The little free time left during the week was usually designated to catch up on simple, daily tasks that had been pushed to the bottom of the priority list. Every summer was the same- work each day till you're exhausted and sleep so you can do it all over again.
I want this year to be different. A summer that maintains responsibility, but saves plenty of space for spontaneity and adventure. I want weekend excursions and last minute road trips. I want to make memories with friends that will be forever engraved in my mind. This summer I am shutting down the usual work sleep repeat cycle and making room for exploration. I'm going to get out and see the things I've always dreamed of seeing. Do the things I've always talked about wanting to do. This summer is going to be one that won't slip by easily like the others have before. This time I'm catching summer.