I am very aware that summer is not officially over, but as a teacher, this is the last evening of my holiday. Tomorrow I begin my 16th year of teaching and will welcome a new group of munchkins into my class. But tonight is not about them. Tonight is about this past summer and the glorious time I had.
This summer was an odd one for me. It was one where I wasn’t home much, and I am a content homebody. But this year I put on my brave face, and I went away with people I had never travelled with. I experienced a confidence I didn’t know I had. I relaxed and laughed. I had fabulous summer dinners and social gatherings. I journeyed physically and emotionally. I grew this summer. I felt the need, all summer, to record this feeling, so I can remember the wonderful happiness I felt.
This summer I went away with work friends to a cottage at the lake. Other friends joined us there and I can honestly say, I will treasure the camaraderie I had with these folks. We had good food, great conversations, laugh after laugh and we even got to paddleboard. Okay, I tried. It didn’t go as planned. But rather than feel my usual mortification (I did feel a bit of it), I laughed and swam and enjoyed the time with these friends.
I went to Las Vegas to celebrate a 20 year marriage with a renewal of vows by Elvis! I hung out with people I cherish and know well, and I felt utterly, absolutely accepted by people I had just met. It was eye opening. I left my arms bare, which is huge for me, and I let myself shine through. I realized that I have been holding myself back and that I can live in my own skin and be happy. I truly embraced my style for the first time ever.
Happiness was overflowing this summer for me. When I got home from Vegas, I couldn’t stop smiling. I felt lighter. I went camping with my awesome mom, and we explored areas of this province I had only heard of. I realized how blessed we are to live in this gorgeous province. I read. I relaxed. I lived in the moment.
It was a summer of friends. I cannot tell these people how much their friendship, acceptance, and love has meant to me. Words are not enough. I will look back at the pictures from this summer and, I pray, that they will bring my happy back when I need it most. I am saying farewell to a work friend as she goes off on a new adventure. I will miss her terribly, but I understand her need for change. I am starting my Masters courses this week. This unknown terrifies and excites me. I am so thankful to have good friends supporting me along the way.
Thank you, Summer 2013.