Friday, September 1, 2006

Wake Me Up When September Ends

I don't know about you, but there is nothing pleasant about September. It reminds of the anxiety of when I was a kid, waiting to go back to school. Sure, I enjoyed shopping for new school supplies (I was a nerd and loved the smell of the new vinyl trapper keepers, the shiny new pens, and the smell of new erasers). But in reality, going back to school meant seeing the same mean people year after year. I was never the popular kid-- I was simply the "nice girl" who was quiet. I was made fun of for bringing blue cheese sandwiches on pita bread to school-- hence, I was dubbed "the stinky cheese girl." luckily for me, my self-esteem and love for stinky blue cheese trumped anything that classmates said about me, and I continued to enjoy my stinky sandwiches day after day.

I still remember my first lunch box-- it was a Peanuts lunch box with Snoopy on it. Years later, when I no longer used it, my brother and I would fill it with rocks and throw it in the deep end of our 9 foot pool, only to dive down later to retrieve the "treasure chest." I remember the many lingering days of August, when we would stay in the pool past 8 pm, awaiting turns to shower. I'd always be the last to go in...I'd sit in the pool, enjoying the silence and stillness of the water. No matter how hard I seemed to scrub in the shower later, my skin always smelled like chlorine during the summers.

I miss how simple life was back then-- all I had to worry about was how I was to spend my day. Now, the pressures of society seem to make up double fold for the carelessness I felt during childhood. I feel many pressures-- to get married, to be successful, to be a woman in the workforce who is career driven, to go back to school for a masters, to fit the stereotype that I have to be a certain weight and look a certain way.

No one ever warns you about this when you're young-- it hits you with a bang when you graduate college and enter the workforce. It's when every day is repetitive that life begins to blend, with no beginning and no end, with no summers to remember years by, and no grades to mark age by. It's been three years for me since I graduated undergrad, but it feels like one year. Repetitiveness makes time its victim. And the sad thing is, things do not slow down as we get older...

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