Today is the first day of my summer vacation.
Is there a more exciting collection of words in the English language?
Yes. There are. I’m sure we could think of a list of three or four off the top of our heads immediately. But no matter who you are, or how long you graduated, hearing some one say, “Last Day of school man,” still carries emotional weight. And by weight— I mean freedom.
This year, however, as I wrote my final lesson, and I watched the minutes and seconds count down to 11:05, I felt nothing. I didn’t feel freedom, or excitement, or a weight being lifted off my chest.
There are several reasons for my anti-climactic reaction. Number one, I still don’t feel all that great. While I’m no longer in the pain I was two months ago, and the nausea isn’t quite as bad as it has been… it’s still there. And it will be for as long as I’m taking all this medicine, some of which is to help with the nausea, so it’s a Catch-22. The pills also zap my energy. Which means all I want to do is sleep in and slowly make my way to the couch. Neither of which bodes well for making summer plans:
“Where do you want to go?”
“ Wherever is the least exhausting.”
The second reason for the anti-climatism—this freaking virus. And the fact that South Carolina, you know, the state where I live, seems to be paying no attention what so ever.
It rained for the past three days, which I must admit, made me pretty happy. Everyone was hoping for a long, beautiful weekend to kick off the festivities, and I was having Schadenfreude all over the place! I pictured God in Heaven like, “Ha! You wanted everything to open up?! Well guess what—I’m going to make it rain!
No, I’m not talking money you sickos!!”
I’m just not excited. Usually at the beginning of summer vacation, I have one or two things to look forward to. I’m typically in the middle of opening a show at Piccolo Spoleto, which is always a blast. Or I’ve got a small trip or two planned.
But I’ve got nothing on the horizon. And no way of knowing when I can start planning things?
I should get excited, I suppose. Fake it until I make it. Besides, something is bound to happen. It always does. I’ve just never looked at life through the prism of a giant question mark. Things are fuzzy and blurry and distorted all at the same time.
In “A Man’s Search for Meaning” Viktor Frankel says that in WW2, the main challenge of the people in the concentration camps wasn’t the harsh conditions they faced. It turns out they could handle anything that was thrown their way. What they couldn’t face was not knowing how long it was going to last. Not that I’m comparing this to WW2, but I think the analogy is apt. We couldn’t even handle the comfort of our own homes. We were like, “I love my living room, LOVE my couch, but I’m gonna need a hard out or else I’m going to lose it.”
“Oh, do you have any where better to go?”
“Umm…no. I just really need to know when that nothing better is going to begin. And if I don’t have that ending time I’ll kill all of us. LOVE YA! MEAN IT!”