The end of summer?

Ciucaș mountain, summer of 2020.

You know that feeling, when something is ending and something new is starting? Like when the night is almost over and the sun is not yet rising? Like when you’ve just read the last pages of a book you loved and a new interesting one awaits for you to start reading? Like when summer ends and autumn starts? It feels like we’re there and I wish it would keep a little longer. The nice weather, the warm rain, the long walks.

It’s when you are between things, part of a process which you loved experiencing and embarking on a new one which holds the promise to be great. It’s when nostalgia and happiness and hope all blend together and determine one to marvel at how great being alive actually is. Despite the problems, sadness and misunderstandings, there are these once in a while moments when it’s a perfect balance. And I am all for enjoying it.

My lovely city, 2020

I feel this way often when seasons change. I have a hard time picking my favourite. They all have advantages and disadvantages. Like summer, when, even though everything is lighter, I feel it’s way too hot. Or in winter when, even though I love snow, it’s too strenuous to walk outside. Or in spring when, even though it leads to amazing fruits, there is too much rain. Or in autumn when, even though the colours of the leaves are absolutely amazing, the days get shorter.

But every time I sense that a season changes into a new one, I forget about the ups and downs and enjoy the show. I feel quite sad that summer is over. And even though this summer implied a lot of work, I will be missing how light it all felt. People are more relaxed in summer, there is so much more laughter and so much more time spent outside, in nature. I guess I haven’t enjoyed it all this year, as we are living though a pandemic and I am doing my best to be responsible, but even so, I had such a great summer.

view from Cetate, Brașov, 2020

I watched my students finish their thesis; I took part of the team responsible for admission and, not only that I got to learn a thing or two about the freshmen, but also I got to work in complex spreadsheets; I got to read and work on an article I keep meaning to write; I got to start a new book project; I got to eat home made onion rings the boyfriend cooked; I got to drink amazingly good coffee in Brasov; I got to hike and make new friends; I got to see one of my best friends’ new baby girl; I got to be panicked for not really knowing how to entertain my other best friends’ daughter; I got to hang out with my brother and once again observed how much you can understand people you grew up with even when nobody’s talking; and, something I enjoyed the most, I got to spend time with both my parents.

Curmătura, 2020, wear your mask

I am looking forward to this autumn too. I am wondering how will I be working this semester, I am planning my classes and coming up with new activities for meeting our goals, I am finishing up articles, I am preparing for online conferences and interviews for my current projects, I am updating my get-to reading list and also I am day-dreaming of all the books I want to write. I like the feeling of new beginnings and my experience taught me that the better you prepare, the more you can enjoy the ride. It’s a process.

And, I may also be looking forward to autumn because next week it’s birthday week. A time to reflect on all the lessons I learned and on all the reasons I am grateful to be experiencing life by being me.

I hope you enjoy these weeks and that are spending you time focusing on the things you can actually control. And that is what you do, what you say and how you react.

Make today count.

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The beauty of Ciucaș, 2020

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