You and I used to be the best of friends.
What happened to us?
When I was younger, I looked forward to your arrival every year. Much of this had to do with my family’s annual camping trip during your third week, but I was also excited by your promises of freedom, sunshine and adventures. You were the epitome of summer in my eyes, a vast expanse of warm weather, melty ice cream cones, and waterlogged days spent almost entirely in the pool. I can remember feeling as though you would never end, as though your radiance would stretch on forever in an infinite summer. You were special to me, July. Unlike any other month, the promises you made were nothing but sugary sweet.
But your glory seems to wane with each year that passes, leaving me with a tangy taste of nostalgia. There’s a stronger hint of sourness in you that breaks my heart a little. Gone are the endless days of swimming and sprinklers and soaking up the sun. These parts of you certainly still exist, but they are hidden by a layer of work, internships, and other commitments. On those few occasions when you do show your true self—the July I used to know. I take it all in and savor it, not knowing when I’ll have the opportunity to experience it again.
The truth is that I miss the old you, July. I miss your carefree spirit, your spontaneity that meant I never had to worry about scheduling things or making plans well in advance. I miss your seeming infiniteness and the way time would blend together until you were just one lump of seconds and minutes and hours all rolled into one. You were always just one big month back then to me: just July, never divided or tainted by the rigidity of a calendar. Most of all though, I miss your sense of excitement, of not knowing what was around the corner. These plans I’ve made have taken that away from you, July.
I know the blame for this change cannot be laid entirely on your shoulders, for I’ve certainly done my part as well. With age I’ve become a more structured person, someone focused on goals and progress and productivity to the point where even summer has become a time of getting things done. Even you, July. My eyes are simultaneously looking at the present and the future, living in a world tangled in time frames. Looking back, I’m probably just as much to blame as you are.
Deep down, I know you’re still the same old July I used to love. Just different.
I’m sure the same can be said of myself.
Thanks, July. See you again soon.