For the past six or eight weeks I've been referring to the summer of '08 as "the neverending summer." It seems that I've packed more sun, fun, beaches (six in Korea!), road trips and theme parks into this summer than any other. And it never ends. It's nearing the end of September and there's still summer fun to be had, which got me thinking -- it's so strange to be living in a country where none of the "normal" seasonal cues take place. Yes, the Korean rainy season is over, and gone with it are the oppressive heat and humidity, but since I'm not a long time resident its disappearance really means nothing to me. Except maybe the personal freedom to wear underwear again.
No, I'm talking about things like the first day of school, college football, the last Alive After Five, cool evening bike rides, the appearance of Halloween candy (and decorations! Go Dad!), and brisk mornings. I was teaching a vocabulary class the other day when I was shocked to learn it was indeed the first official day of fall. When did this happen? I have yet to throw on a coat when I go out. The leaves are still as green as ever and my friends are planning another surf weekend in Busan.
Summer crept by at a snail's pace and now I've been shoved into fall, kicking and screaming. I have a love/hate relationship with fall. I love the start of the school year. For the past two years I've had the pleasure of working with the most amazing group of kids. Everyday was interesting and fun and crazy and enlightening and by the time summer was over I was more than ready to be back at work with them. I also love throwing on my hoodie when it gets a little brisk on the patio, watching the Broncos play on Saturday afternoons, riding my bike home from work, and helping my dad get ready for his annual Halloween extravaganza (this is not an exaggeration.) Yeah, fall's good.
However, it's also a very hard time for me. Every fall for almost as long as I can remember I have slipped into depression. Some seasons are better than others and last fall was especially easy. It was so easy, in fact, that I wasn't really worried about being all the way in Korea without my family to lean on. But I can feel it coming on, even without all those seasonal cues. I am trying to stay positive and busy. I have told my friends. I am making a conscious effort to be honest about how profoundly this season affects me, which is HARD. So send all your good vibes and positive thoughts and whatever else you can muster my way. I have a feeling I'm gonna need it!
Or I could just get Mom to send the Wellbutrin...
BTW, I really should have been typing a report for work instead of pouring out my innermost thoughts on the internets. You're welcome.