The thrills of summer

I had a moment of truth today.

Somehow, for two years of my adult life, my primary responsibilities were writing and teaching. And perhaps even more amazing, I spent two summers driving cross country with the best man in the world.

This summer I started working within 48 hours of graduating - and haven't stopped since.

I suppose we all have to grow up sometime.

I realized, though, that often when things fall into place, I have to resist the urge to break them apart. It's an impulse that must go back to childhood - the same feeling you might get when you find an undone seam in your shirt and you want desperately to unravel it all. It's an instinct I only recently realized I have. And now, since I'm a grown-up, I'm resisting it with all my might, because I worked my ass off to get here. The good news is, it has rekindled a creative fire I worried I might lose.

After my first full day at the office, I came home and found this:

This, to me, epitomizes the ideal summer. It was early June and this was our first campsite of many. The day was long but passed quickly. We fell into a leisurely rhythm of driving, hiking, cooking, and sight-seeing. We couldn't predict where we'd be next, and even when we did plan ahead, something more interesting always came along. We were outside most of the day.

As wonderful as that trip was, and as tempting as it is to think longingly of Carlsbad Caverns or beignets in New Orleans or flea markets in Pittsburgh, I have to remember the stress and anxiety that came with uncertainty. That same month I had to transfer from an already expensive insurance plan to the exhaustively expensive HIPAA plan - something I never could have afforded without my family's help. I was about to start graduate school but didn't really know where it would lead me. I was moving 110 miles from my boyfriend. A lot of things were exciting, and a lot of things were scary.

I'm trying hard to remember that when things feel scary, it is often because deep within them lies some new and untapped thrill. And what says summer more than that?

So here's to weekend vacations - to new beginnings - to stable jobs - to sharing an address with the best man in the world. I promise not to rip the seam.