“This is my quietest summer.”

I am writing this at 1 AM not so much because I can’t sleep or that an epiphany suddenly struck. I am writing because I can’t seem to get over a small realization that struck my mind today: this year’s the quietest summer break I’ve had, where the dates on my calendar are often unmarked and days are therefore long, slow, and trivially filled.

I am not writing to say, I’m trying to change my life. Nor am I writing to say, I feel the winds of change. 

Neither.

Instead, I think change has already taken place; I am the change.

I don’t know where I’m going with this – I think I’m honestly simply thinking out loud, typing this – I just know that I need to write. Because there is an unsettling feeling caught deep in my throat that’s got my insides feeling uneasy all over, for unknown reasons. There is something in particular I have been meaning to write, which I have tried for a couple of days now, to no fruition. I will try again tomorrow. I am armed with news of a potential (personal) change.

This is my quietest summer.

I am beginning to understand why it is so difficult to build and perhaps harder, to maintain, friendships in adulthood — it’s not that we’re held back by our fears, whatever they may be. I think, instead, it is simply that life priorities re-shift and with that comes added responsibilities and a differently filled daily schedule. It happens to everyone, including our existing social circle. Everyone’s lives are suddenly extremely dynamic, leaving little room for faces once routine and familiar.

Sometimes new people enter our lives requiring immediate and undivided attention. Sometimes our current life phase simply does not – or no longer – align with our once close-knit friends. Sometimes it is just what it is — people move on, grow up, or both. What was once the main pillar of a friendship built years ago is now nothing but a pillar. If anything, an aging and rusty pillar. The numerous thoughts we shared as children, then girls, now women – they shift. Sometimes reality stands in the way; I love you, yet no matter how much I love you – I just can’t be everything for you and vice versa.

This is my quietest summer.

I find myself different. A lot less angry and frantic, though still a chronic worrier. My stressors, while not silenced, no longer paralyze me in ways they used to. I find that I (attempt to) view everything, however light or weighty, with a glass half-full perspective. I try, and I try hard. I find myself working towards forgiveness often. I find myself less edgy; thankfully, gone – or halfway gone – are the days of self-doubt and chronic insecurity and obsessive external validations. I find that when I am by myself, I am quiet – by choice. Because I want to. I no longer feel the need to express everything out loud.

I think I have arrived, at long last, to a version of myself that I am proud to take ownership of, nurture, and share.

I think I have arrived, at long last, home — to myself.

This is my quietest summer.

No, scratch that.

This is my calmest summer.

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