When I started writing this, I tried desperately to relate it to the theme of renewal. I jokingly told myself that I would write a piece on how often I end up renewing library books at this part of the year because I have so many things to do (tldr; I spend way too much time watching reaction videos on Youtube and Internet window shopping). But as I started to plan more and more, I realized just how close I was to the start of the New Year. Not the ACTUAL New Year, but the point of the year where the metaphorical calendar in our heads flip to the next page. Yes, the beginning of the school year/work year. Everything starts in late summer and comes to an end by mid-to-late spring. The leaves change. Colors shift from pink to green to brown and then, are wiped out in the snowy dust. That’s how it’s always been. Or at least, how it’s always been for those who live where we eat apples and not mangoes in the winter. All I’ve ever known is this cycle. In winter, we yearn for the warmth of July and read travel brochures and wait for the flowers to bloom. And so it goes. Over and over again, the cycle repeats. For once, I think I have begun to dread the cycle. Why has change come to define itself as the SAME?
In the past loneliness of the summertime, I spent most of the break awaiting the days that I would begin planning my outfits at dawn on weekdays, the days that I would struggle to fit the bulk of my Walmart-purchased school supplies, the days that I struggled to finish my breakfast and run out the door and end up 2 minutes late to the bus. Looking back, I don’t understand why. I guess it was because of the change. Something new. Yet now, I think to myself: What was new about it? What’s so new about a lifestyle that I could define in one four-comma’d sentence?
It may just be getting older. It may just be my distaste with Advanced Placement summer work. But it may just be the realization that nothing is fun about doing the same thing over and over for the past 12 years.
As some wise anonymous person once said, same shit, just a different day. But maybe this time, I won’t renew any of the summer reading books I always told myself I was going to finish.
As we grow older, we begin to change. Sometimes it isn’t on purpose and sometimes we get intense bouts of nostalgia for what things used to be. For me, a lot has changed recently and I have been forced to adapt to the new responsibilities that come with growing up. One big change that I’ve had to adapt to is the end of college and the safety that comes with it. I start university next month which means that the gentle pushing of those around me ends and I’ll be forced to embrace independence or sink. I am quickly being introduced to concepts that are now reality: loans, debt, living costs. But as scary as this sounds I know everything will okay. I’ll be meeting an important person that will be there for life: an adult me that isn’t scared by these things.
Words by Adaora Ede and Courtney Headland. All images by Fern Bromley.