Well, after 97 days of summer and Maryland and family, it's over. I'm going back to Evanston, back home.
It's been an interesting summer. As far as the things on my to-do list have gone, there have been mixed results. Sure, I've read piles of books and done a good deal of work on this website. But I haven't written much fiction, and my Spanish attempts have only amounted to the first 3 lessons of a 24-lesson audio set, 10 minutes' perusal of an AP Spanish book, and the viewing of La Tierra Antes De Tiempo, whose lasting effect is mainly that I now know the Spanish word for Littlefoot.
(Parenthetically and pathetically, I think that despite the fact that my internship stipend was less than a third of what I made last summer, and I earned all of $150 working two weeks at the chocolate store, I nonetheless netted more this summer than last. This may have something to do with helping my parents pay for a replacement car for the two I totaled.)
But beyond the details, it's just been a generally enjoyable, relaxing period of time. Yeah, getting up at 7:30 or earlier for eleven weeks was a hassle. But I felt like I developed a sort of discipline, to the point where I felt somewhat uncomfortable on weekend days if I didn't accomplish something. Sure, I was far away from most of my friends. But I learned that it's sometimes nice to have space to myself.
I've had a couple of interesting realizations, such as the fact that for the first time in my life, I have been able to play around in my head with the idea of having children without a dramatic "Oh, goodness, no, I could never do that" reaction. Now, this doesn't mean that I've decided that I actually want to have kids, and I certainly can't imagine having them anytime in the near future. But when the idea of myself as a mother is not completely incomprehensible, it's sort of bizarre and remarkable.
And as a result of being positively deluged by weddings this summer (although I still have yet to actually attend one!), I've also actually been thinking about weddings. Okay, and also because I spent over an hour in an airport poring through wedding magazines, trying to distract myself from this awful homophobic religious book that I picked up due to its fairly innocuous title of something like "Bringing Up Boys" (because, y'know, you've got to raise them right or else they'll end up gay), so that I wouldn't rip up the 8 copies and have to pay for them all. I suppose that "normal" girls think about these things all the time and so it's not supposed to be odd, but I'd never really thought about things like bridesmaid dresses and flowers and cakes and such. Sure, I had a vague idea of "very simple, but an actual ceremony with guests," but I'd never really thought it through. I still haven't really, but somehow it's pushed its way into my mind.
It makes me feel rather old in some ways. It's not like I want these things, not right now. It's not like I have some sort of biological clock ticking or anything. I'm quite certain that I don't want this now. But I can recognize within me the threads that will someday form a different me, an older me, an adult me. That's kind of cool, and kind of disturbing, but definitely weird.
There are other things that I've felt and experienced and thought about this summer, but I feel like I've rambled about them enough already. A sense of inner peace, satisfaction, self-reliance. You must understand that the reason I feel compelled to write about this experience is just that I'm trying to come to terms with living life in a way that I never have before. It's just me gazing in wonder and trying to understand so that I can keep it from ever slipping away.
At first, I was afraid that going back to school would somehow mess it all up. But now I feel like nothing can mess it up. (This, of course, is quite possibly over-confidence.) And there are so many wonderful things about school that I enjoy. This is all about relishing the good things, and I'm thrilled to get to go back to the ones in Evanston. (If I ever make it; I'm currently on a runway in Indianapolis in the rain, at least two hours late.) I'm just not going to let anything shake my emotional composure.
this entry could be better edited, but I'm back at school now and there
are things to do!)
20 September, 2002
Intellectual Property Rights denounced by Britt Gordon-McKeon, 2002