Has it occurred to anyone else this summer?


dog at the window

In the middle of last winter, I could only think about how amazing the summer would be. I could hardly wait to go back to the beach and see my friends every day. I imagined the city coming back to life and feeling that way November 7 all summer. But just a few weeks ago, I looked up and summer was already halfway through, and I didn’t engage in any of the enjoyment I thought I would.

Instead, every day looked the same as before. I was still working from home; In the morning I walked for coffee, avoided the subway, walked. Now fully vaccinated, I was doing some more adventurous things, like going to the movies for the first time in a year and a half, and I went to the beach once, but where did the other days go? I never danced in the street until dawn! And how was it already in August ?? I was worried that I had completely failed on my triumphant return to the world, until I realized that no one around me was doing much either. Everyone I spoke to also felt that summer was passing quickly and that they had done nothing of value. It was so weird that we all thought we were going to have one experience together, but instead we ended up having a completely different one, all together.

No one expected us to have to collectively address 2020 – what it did to our sense of time, how it separated us from loved ones, how we couldn’t travel to places we love or haven’t yet. Instead of the triumphant return we hoped it would be, 2021 is more like an annex to overflow the sadness and frustration that last year brought. We live in this new, surreal world and are trying to add parts of our lives, before 2020. And with the advent of variants, there is talk of future blockades and questions about what autumn and winter might look like. Moving forward is still just as bizarre, non-linear and disoriented as it has been for the past year and a half, and it’s hard to know whether we should feel full of hope or be cautious. Maybe both. I find solace in letting this year be the way it is, instead of what I had hoped it would be – giving it time to relax and then come alive again.

The summer of 2021 just wasn’t our summer, and that’s okay. We have time.

PS 13 readers share their joyful gatherings i what unexpected connections did you establish during the pandemic?

(Photo by Igor Madjinca / Stocksy.)

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