Monday, September 12, 2016

Rushing and waiting

In reality, we're always going to be rushing and waiting at the same time. 

This was an amazing summer - one of the best. (Which is a pretty high compliment considering all those childhood summers when I didn't have to work.) In part because we started making summer plans when I was still planning to quit my job for grad school, I took off three whole weeks, give or take a little bit of working remotely. So in other news - turns out that the secret to an amazing summer is going to work as little as possible.

It was a summer of moving and travel, and a very in-between period in our lives. We came back from a fabulous Caribbean vacation and immediately started packing up our apartment. We moved out of DC at the end of July, spent a week crashing with my parents in the suburbs and chilling on Maryland's Eastern Shore, and then Uhauled Austin up to Boston in mid-August. (That's a very concise summary but the reality involves a lot more boxes, humidity, storage units, confusion, and teamwork.) It was also a summer full of weddings that gave us a chance to celebrate love and friendship up and down the East Coast while taking a step back to ponder the big questions.

A while back, my mom shared this fantastic Lin Manuel Miranda commencement address. I loved it - like wept-openly-in-my-cubicle loved it - and recommend it whether or not you are a Hamilton fan. After discussing how Hamilton and Burr react in opposite ways to the same feeling that time is running out, he gets to my favorite part:

"In reality, you’re always going to be rushing and waiting at the same time. You will pack your things to leave tomorrow while savoring every moment of today. You’ll chase down your friends to say goodbye, but know that the ones who matter the most will be in your life for the rest of your life... You hold the present in your hand as tight as you can, while your other hand reaches out for more."

That's what this summer was for me - it was all about rushing and waiting. It was lists and plans and gearing up for big, end-of-an-era changes. Rush. It was trying to soak up our last summer in DC together. Wait. And at the same time - it was waiting for the next chapter to start while rushing around to enjoy the last of this one. It was long afternoons at the pool while feeling guilty that I was not packing or otherwise dealing with the considerable logistics this summer of travel and moving required.

It was diving right in to the Syria portfolio at work while reluctantly loosening my grasp on Tunisia. At the weddings, it was indulging in nostalgia while launching old friends on new parts of their lives and slowly hurtling onto our own new paths. Above all - it was feeling wistful already for what life was like now at the same time that I was eager to just get on with it.

Usually I feel like I am grasping onto the summer as hard as I can. But by the time Labor Day rolled around this year, this summer felt complete. What this next chapter will look like is still taking shape, but I am so ready for it.