I realize I've been a crap blogger these past few weeks, but there's been a lot of stuff going on, both in my life and in my head. Regrettably, most of it isn't worth blogging about--and although I'd be perfectly content not to be experiencing it, it seems a courtesy to save all y'all from hearing about it.
Every August I find myself torn between freaking out because the school year is about to begin, and I haven't gotten nearly enough done--and absolutely dying for the school year to begin, because I'm so sick of summer and all that unstructured time. That tension is still present this year, but all in all I think I've NEVER been as eager to return to the classroom as I am right now. It's not that I'm truly prepared for the academic year (although I'm genuinely excited about two of my three classes this semester), and it's not that I have a great sense of satisfaction about what I've accomplished over the summer (because, um, I don't). It's just that I think I'd jump off a fucking cliff if I had a single additional week of summer to try to fill.
Has it been a bad summer? Well, yes. But it could certainly have been worse. Has it been a good summer? That seems like a stupid question to ask, but many things about the summer have been good, even surprisingly good, and my ambition is to be able to look back on the past three and a half months as having been largely positive and productive, even if disagreeable on a near-daily basis.
For one thing, over the course of the summer I think I've learned more about myself than I have during any other comparable period of time; frankly, I'm inclined to think I've grown and changed as much in the not-quite-four-months since my breakup as I did in the entire six years I spent in that relationship--and that's in no way a dismissal of the value of the latter. It's nice to discover how much more one is capable of than one would have believed. . . and how much better, more dedicated, and more generous a person one is. (It would be even nicer if those attributes or behaviors were immediately recognized and rewarded, but I suppose such commodities hold their value.)
I've also been reminded of what amazing friends I have, and having the opportunity to reconnect with so many of them, so many times, and in such depth, has been a profoundly and consistently wonderful experience. After my conference last week I spent the weekend in the city that is now home to a ridiculous number of my college friends, and all I can say is, goddamn. What fabulous, insightful people they all are. My newer friends, too, are pretty awesome--in the past 24 hours I've unexpectedly started crying in front of two different people, first a young male colleague and then Evey, and both reacted in ways that were straightforward, sympathetic, and helpful, rather than awkward, anxious, or mortifying.
For years and years, through my teens and most of my twenties, I don't think I believed that I could be truly understood, or known, for whatever it was that I was--first known, I guess, and then loved. So if in some ways this summer has seemed to be a confirmation of that deep (and, let's be honest, totally narcissistic) fear, in other ways it's been exactly the opposite.
And hell. I did some fun travelling. I got at least a certain amount of work done. I read some books, made some new professional acquaintances, and heard some great gossip.
And of course, winter break is only 3.5 months away.