“This is the start, another empty page where I begin.”
Summer has been my favorite season for as long as I can remember. I moved to Florida in September, and this year will be my first summer away from home, a bittersweet realization. I’ve measured my life in summers for so long. Over the last nine years, I had performing and theatre to look forward to; summer meant rehearsals, and a summer without a stage feels strange.
The season also brought me some of the people that mean the most to me. The summer of 2006 is probably my favorite summer because it was when I made my lifelong best friends, though I don’t think any of us realized it at the time. Nothing particularly special happened; we were just together almost every day, and our “nothing” meant more than can be explained.
It’s extremely difficult to write about my friends. Part of that is I don’t think my words can explain how much they mean to me, but the other part is there is so much to be said and I feel like it’s a secret I need to keep for just us.
“I think I have everything I need. It got dark, but now I think I see, the world around is full of arms still reaching out to me.”
I know it’s extremely common to move someplace new for college and afterward, but moving away from my home has been one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done. I feel like it’s been a battle to keep my feet on solid ground (and not just because I’ve flown more times this year than the rest of my life combined).
I went through some tough things less than a month after my move, so I wasn’t even on sure footing before my world flipped upside down. Even from 1,100 miles away, my best friends were and are the best support system I could ever ask for. I think I lost some of my appreciation of that in college.
It took moving away to make me realize just how much I have.
“I left home, but there’s one thing that I still know. It’s always summer in my heart and in my soul.”
My friends are my endless summer, my sunshine. They say you can’t choose your family, and maybe it’s not an active choice, but over time they have become part the family I hold closest to my heart.
They shine light and love into the dark places, and there are always pieces of them with me no matter how far away I go. They fill me with laughter when that’s what I need the most, let me cry when there’s nothing to be said, and feed me BBQ when I stop being a vegetarian (probably one of the boys’ prouder moments). When I tried to quietly ignore my birthday, a friend got everyone together on one of my trips home to throw me my first “belated/surprise” party ever.
“I loved you first, I love you still. I always will.”
The first time I listened to this song, I knew it would go right to the top of my summer playlist, and I knew that for me, it says how I feel better than I could myself.
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