The summer solstice is the longest day of the year and the official kick-off to the summer season. Maybe it's because I have a summer birthday or maybe because of how the school calendar is constructed, but I have always marked time by summers. More than any other season, summer marks the biggest changes for me. Growing up it meant no school, early morning practices, doubles and long course season. When I left for college, it was a new apartment to sublet for a couple of months, starting internships and jobs that supplemented my income, and exploring via public transit. Each summer was a temporary home. Each summer was when I had the time to grow.
While I never “had a summer” in the sense of doing nothing for three months, I was dreading what would happen to this time once I left school. But summers continued to mark big life changes all the same. The first summer saw a new job and a new city when I moved to Washington D.C.; I spent the second with a long stint in Paris for a certificate program; last year, I moved to New York. New lives, new cities, new loves. While some of the transitions were rough, I could always count on a growth spurt in the summer. But now...
I renewed my lease on my apartment and I'm staying at my job for the foreseeable future. I lost love, but this time, there's nowhere to run to. I have to stay put. Everything is the same and everything is different. But in the middle of all of this, I have to believe there is a calm center. Over the years, I've discovered there are things we come back to, rhythms we return to. With Returnings, it is my hope to explore these with you and to create a conversation about how we use going back to propel us forward. Below are some things I'm thinking about as the summer begins, as well as a survey to get your opinion about what you'd like to see from Returnings.
I'm trying to get back in touch with people who make me the most me. One thing I started early this year was scheduling a weekly breakfast with a close friend who also lives in the city. It's probably closer to bi-monthly or monthly, but it's on the calendar every week.
It is summer and it is time to go outside. I spent my whole life in the water, and it's time to go back. Whether I get in some quality pool time or go to Rockaway Beach, the water is home.
New music and new reads. I have Melodrama on repeat and I just finished A Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion, but I find myself going back to a lot of high school classics. Maybe it's time to read a book I've started but haven't finished. Ulysses, anyone?
All my love,