coming home

So it’s summer, and I’m home. Or rather, “home.” I really don’t need to get into that whole concept of what home is, do I? No, no. Probably not. Needless to say, this doesn’t feel much like home. It is a little better than last summer though, because at least I have some memories of living here. I know where the dishes go (for the most part) and I know my way around the island a lot better now. After spending a few days running around with my mom and sister, I really needed to get away so this morning I drove by myself to the gym on Schofield Barracks. It wasn’t so much that I really needed to use the gym; I ran and then did a work out that could have been done at home. But I had been craving solitude and peace and autonomy that I have been taking for granted for the last nine months.

It’s strange because I feel so lonely here for so much of the time. It’s a familiar type of lonely. There are no assignments due, no tests to study for, practically no responsibility at all. In past summers I would spend this time reading a million books and writing pages and pages in my journal every day. I guess it was good, but it doesn’t seem like a healthy way to spend an extended period of time. I would start dreaming up the type of person I wanted to become, which was usually modeled after the summer’s blockbuster female heroine: quirky, intelligent, and rebellious. An outcast. But a beautiful one, one that was endearingly awkward. The one who had the male lead from the beginning but didn’t realize it until the end. All of the year’s conflict would come to a head right before school gets out but then it would resolve just in time to have a perfect, carefree summer. Everyone would sit with their toes dipped in a lake with a sunset reflected in it, basking in the magic of their youth.

But I never lived near a lake, and I never had that kind of summer. That’s just how it is.

I guess summer can be a lot like prom in that way. And New Years, I suppose. And Valentine’s Day. And Christmas. All these days have so much hype attached to them that you can’t help but imagine the absolute best version of yourself living out the day flawlessly. And so you’re inevitably disappointed. It’s no one’s fault.

I remember looking forward so much to prom each year. I would take so much time planning the little details. I would look back over old prom pictures to make sure I didn’t forget anything. But on the big night, I remember looking around and thinking “well. this is it. wait. this is it?” The memories were being made and I guess I was conscious of it but it didn’t feel quite as momentous as it was supposed to feel. Each moment was just a moment just like the one before it and the one that will come after.

How depressing.

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