It was 82 degrees today. I told everyone I don’t understand winter here.
I don’t know how to dress for it. I wore flip flops the other day, but for fears sitting outside would get chilly in the early evening hours, brought the same coat I’d wear out to a January in New York dinner. Sandals and snow coat. Good look.
At the very least, I thought winter for single-girls-not-looking meant wearing jeans and not having to shave. Best
five months couple days per week every year.
But no. Not here.
So I went to the pool. The lounge chairs are locked up and covered – it is January, we wouldn’t want them to get weathered in Southern California’s lack of weather – but you can find yourself a nice grassy place to tan.
Not that I tan. Kinda big on the whole no-cancer thing. To be honest, tanning makes me bored. And kinda sweaty. Ask me how I feel about baths and I’d tell you the same. Worse, because my mother told me I’m not allowed to bring my Kindle by the bathtub. Forget that.
But sometimes when it’s 78 degrees and I’m moving to Albany in six days, I decide it’s ok to “tan.” To go from pale to less-but-still-pale and to make it look like I’ve stepped outside once since I got back from Europe six weeks ago.
So I sit outside and read Tina Fey’s Bossypants for the second time (once upon a time, before I figured out what I wanted
life this blog to look like, I reviewed it). I’d still like to grow up to be her.
And then as the sun drifted behind the one cloud in the sky, obscured further by trees I’d poorly positioned myself near, I started thinking about countdowns. Every once in awhile I’ll have these thoughts – starting somewhat panicky or stressed, fleshed out first in a well-worded “W!+!%*&!#^&^#*!” e-mail to a friend or two, before showing up here a little calmer a few days later.
Just like a lot of my friends, everything done in recent years has had an end date.
High school, college, internships.
Study abroad there, summers here.
And some countdowns are sad to see end – when the days of summer in NY left got small enough it turned to “48 hours” of which the last 3 are a mad-dash of all the packing/car cleaning I didn’t responsibly do in the previous 45.
And some aren’t rushed to but still good ends to get to – surviving Europe, for example. 122 nights in hostels? It was nice to get to the “I DID IT!” moment, and it didn’t come a moment too soon.
But as soon as I fly to Albany next Saturday… there’s no next end date. No booked plane ticket exit to anywhere, no imminent goodbyes after the see you soons said in California.
There’s a ton of stuff hidden in my aunt and uncle’s house (under the bed, in the closet, in the drawers) to reclaim. I told them I was coming back.
There’s all my work clothes left in NY in August, because I knew I was coming back.
There’s all my make-up left in that mad-dash airport run from four weeks ago.
A job (yes, there’s a job now!). A car and a couple car payments. An apartment to decorate.
There are people to see again.
People to meet.
A life to be built.
And it’s exciting.
And it’s a little scary.