August 29, 2008

Matthew's Summer Friday

Every Friday between Memorial Day and Labor Day I'm going to be featuring "guest bloggers" as a part of my "Summer Fridays" series. The very last entry in the series comes from my long-time buddy, Matthew, who writes a very fitting entry as the summer comes to a close.

Midnight on January 1st doesn't mean all that much to me... it never has. Looking back, it always seems a little silly -- partly because I stare at photos from new year's parties and question the dating choices i made that particular year. that particular "plus 1" i brought to the party -- but mostly because we celebrate a new year at the wrong time.

Our lives simply aren't organized that way. Never have been. The question is, will they ever be?

Growing up, our new year began at the end of the summer. The fall was the harbinger of all things new. New teachers, new clothes, new must-see TV. In contrast, nothing new ever happened in January. We returned to the same classrooms, wore the same clothes we'd been wearing all winter (plus a few new sweaters and probably some underwear we found beneath the Christmas tree or Hanukkah bush).

I don't know about you, but that cycle has never ended for me. maybe it's because I never left school. I attempted to remain the perpetual student forever, and for many years I succeeded. Every fall I've gone back to school. Every September, I've welcomed a new year in my life. New places, new acquaintances.

Saying good-bye to summer remains my new year's eve. and it's time to do it again. We watch the season pull up its own stakes. As I write this, Dashboard's "Stolen" plays on repeat. it's a classic. Promise me you'll listen to it at least once during the next few days, OK? Promise. ...catch the last weekend of the last week... Labor Day sure did come fast this year.

For me, this new year is huge. At 26 I've finally finished grad school and will, the day after Labor Day, enter the job market. I just swallowed a lump in my throat. I. Am. Excited. I've enjoyed my last summer vacation. Now I'm joining the rest of you in the working world. ...another sun-soaked season fades away...

I can't help but wonder, will I soon begin feeling the new year's arrival in January? Now that summer will no longer hold such promise and potential, will I join the rest of you in meaningful midnight toasts at the end of December?

Or are you working stiffs still like your 12-year-old selves, turning a page this weekend and welcoming the new year along with the fall of the first leaves in the park? Did you buy some back-to-school, fall fashions to wear back to work after Labor Day? Did you make a resolution to pack your lunch every day this year?

You feel it, too, don't you? I bet you do, and I'd like to wish you all a happy new year! Enjoy your last weekend of summer. good stretch before our hibernation... It'll be 2009 before we know it.

As much as I hate to agree, I think Matthew is very right. I can already feel that first crisp gust of air as it attempts to chill me under my sweater.

You can read more from Matthew on his blog, To Be That Guy.

Related Things: