Even though it’s still summer, everything about September automatically feels different. The mornings are chillier, the songs are sadder, and I’m annoyed at myself for letting the whole season pass without wearing jean shorts even once.
I saw pictures of other people’s summers and I wondered if they did it better than me. I didn’t grow a single vegetable, or make a peach pie. I never had a picnic on a red-checkered blanket, or played tennis, or picked raspberries. These were things I wanted to do but didn’t. I did other things but lots of them were unmemorable and didn’t feel like summer.
I tried really hard to capture what I think summer is supposed to feel like or at least, what I wanted it to feel like. When I was in London, I walked for ages trying to find a restaurant with fairy lights and outdoor seating space but it was like they didn’t exist. The weather never got hot enough, the restaurant patios had no space, the café I wanted to go to was closed. I never even went to a BBQ or jumped in a pool. And by the time everyone was no longer too tired, too bored, or too busy to do things, the flowers had already wilted and people were already running out of the ocean.
It’s been the kind of summer I would look back at before going back to school, thinking to myself that nothing happened. Like the summer it was cloudy every day and all your friends were on vacation. Or like the first summer I had a job and felt like I missed out on everything because it didn’t feel like a real summer.
Every year, I jump into summer thinking that it will change me in some fundamental way but it never does. Suddenly, it’s 9pm and already dark and I once again feel like I missed my chance to make something spectacular of it. There was no magical transformation, no party where I sat on the floor at 1am, no life-changing adventure. Summer is over; it was hardly different from the spring. What passed was just another season, full of little moments that don’t necessarily add up to anything big or important no matter how badly I want them to.