Summer Lovin'

Hello folks. It's that time of year again, for me . . . summer is over.

Because I've been perpetually a student, and now I'm an academic, I've always been on an academic calendar. Which means I've had the luxury of long (if no longer lazy) summers all of my life. Things haven't changed that much since I was a kid, though, and I mourn the ending of summer.

That said, the end of the summer is sort of like the beginning of a new year for me. In fact, the New Year never feels like my new year, it's very much my mid-year. Therefore it's always the beginning of the school year that finds me reassessing my goals, my dreams, and my place in my own life.

Right now, I have to say I'm about as recharged and raring to go as I can get. I've just had what was probably the best summer of my life, so far, and it's left me super focused and super clear about what I've got, what I want, and what I think I need to do.

My first big epiphany this summer was that I chase happiness, rather than letting happiness come to me. I had that fortune-cookie realization one night when I was nearly asleep, but not quite. It took me a while, but I think I now know what I meant. And I was right! I've always been really active and impatient, but there are some things that can't be rushed, or forced. Those things I've got to let go of and just be open to them, rather than actively pursuing them.

My other big epiphany was that I need a home. It's probably not going to be here in Greensburg, as what I really want is a bolt hole in a fabulous location for holidays and long weekends. I think I know where, and it's a city I fell in love with the second I stepped foot there. I don't want to say too much as things may change. I'm holding my dream tight to my chest like a frightened bird, but I'm so happy to have something I know I want, for my personal life. I'm very lucky that my careers are going well and that I know what I want professionally, but sometime this summer I realized that my only goals were career goals and that I needed to think about how I want to live, not just what I want to do.

So that's me, in a nutshell. Is there anything you've realized about yourself, after our long, hot summer grinds down into fall?


lesleylsmith said…
Congrats on your insights.
The question is: have we had any epiphanies this summer? :) No pressure there!
It just so happens my life is changing.
Among other things, I'm almost finished with a degree. (W00t!) My realization is I need to think, ponder, consider what I really want to do with my life...
Nicole Peeler said…
Yay Lesley!!!! :-) And what a degree it is. I guess "have you had an epiphany" IS a bit much to ask . . . But we don't get answers if we don't ask, even if it's to ourselves.
Anne from Iowa said…
Great post, Nicole.

Here's the thing: I have been waiting for an epiphany for most of my life. I continue to just drift not knowing what I really want to do with my life.

Luckily I married my prince charming and he keeps me somewhat grounded but lets me continue to dream. Oh, and guess what? I met him once I decided to stop chasing happiness.
Elaine Lowe said…
Beautiful epiphanies. And I agree about the need to stop chasing happiness. Months after deciding to stop chasing love, I found my husband, and that was at 17 yrs old. Still married 17 years later. You are never too young or too old for epiphanies to come.

As for me, summer is a time of challenges, joy and pain. My autistic son is out of school, and I can never hold a real job because of summers and the impossibility of finding enough caretakers for him. Summer is the time I have to confront both the wonder and the pain of his issues and my own strengths and weaknesses. My writing is always very different during the summer as a result. I think I dig deeper and let more things rise to the surface. This summer, I finally accept that I am actually doing a pretty damn good job with him!
synde said…
I realized I miss southern California enough that it's time to go back. The smell of the ocean and the crashing of waves calls me..This time next year I will be firmly ensconced back in the the arms of San Diego.
Pamela {Spaz} said…
I enjoyed reading this post yesterday. I didn't comment before because it took me a while to think of any other epiphanies I have had other than "WTF am I doing in TX????"
I guess my largest epiphany has is I thrive in situations out of my comfort zone. I am a hermit by habit, but every time I do something social, I glow. As long as I can just get dressed and out the door TO the Danger Zone, I'm gold.
I've thoroughly enjoyed seeing you TWICE this summer! Twice! Not a stalker I promise (at least not a problematic one, is that what they all say?) Hope your year continues to be just as fantastic and I look forward to seeing where you end up living, maybe, possibly. Dakota is my next target, I am following her to Dallas... it's a little closer but still. ;)
Nicole Peeler said…
Anne: What a lovely story! And perhaps that is your calling, to go where life takes you? ;-)

Elaine: Thanks so much for posting and sharing! My mom has worked with autistic kids for years and years (before there was even really a diagnosis) and I know how challenging and rewarding they can be. I bet you're doing a GREAT job!

Synde: Wow, that sounds great! It's so true how we have our spiritual homes. Look forward to hearing more about the move!

Pam: You are an absolute star at events! But I can totally understand what you're saying. I actually have to work up to big events, something people probably wouldn't think about me. And then I need significant downtime. But you DO shine when you're out and about and you were GREAT on that panel we were on together! Stalk away! I like you a lot! ;-) Fondle Dakota for me!

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