For the last season and a half or so, Game of Thrones has really stressed me out. Not because of certain people’s deaths (or not-deaths); not because of weird things beyond The Wall; not because the number of scantily clothed women has drastically dropped. No, it’s because now it seems like half of the show takes place in a damn blizzard. (For those of you who don’t watch the show, cough-Will-cough, just know that Winter is Coming.) I’ve already had to live through somewhere in between 20 and 30 real winters in my life; I really don’t need to live through another fantasy winter without even being able to see Natalie Dormer on-screen (I mean, c’mon). Winter sucks, and yet HBO is making us live through another one.
Think about all of the good memories you had growing up: playing baseball outside with your friends; eating s’mores in the tree house; Fourth of July parties; going to Six Flags (or whatever dope local amusement park you went to with your Aunt when she blew chunks on herself and your mom after riding the one roller coaster too many times). When did these memories happen? Unless some Christmas memories were also on this list (#JewishProblems), all of these happened in the summer. There was no school, less rules, good food, and great weather. Anything that can happen when it’s 45 degrees outside can also happen when it’s 80 degrees outside, except with more fun, more sunshine, and less clothes on.
And this continued on through college too. No matter how shitty your summer internship was, it was (almost) always still better than being at school. Even if you weren’t somewhere cool, you were somewhere different (I spent the summer before my senior year outside of Tampa where you had to swim to work through the humidity, and it was still amazing). Sure, you didn’t have your best buddies with you, but still: it was summer. Everything was more lax over the summer. Beer tastes colder, everybody looks more attractive, and people just enjoy life more. I don’t care if you’re someone who sweats a bunch – you’re still going to enjoy sweating while drinking a Corona without a shirt more than you’re going to put up with drinking spiked apple cider that you snuck in under your snow pants while wearing a parka and gloves at a football game.
Now that we’ve graduated and moved on to bigger and better things, for most of us, there is no summer vacation. We don’t get time off of work. While we see all of our interns living the life that was once ours and all of our buddies still in college being “super stoked” to go somewhere awesome/different, we’re stuck in our cubicles or our offices or our labs or wherever doing the same thing that we do the whole year. But still, there’s always an excitement that comes with the changing of the seasons, when you stop seeing your breath every morning when you wake up and your start seeing green foliage everywhere. This eagerness is almost palpable at work – people become friendlier, your boss becomes less insufferable (if you don’t use the word “insufferable,” is it really a PGP article?), and you add a little pep to every step and every email. When you sign off with “Have a nice day,” you become a little closer to actually meaning it. When someone asks you in the hallways “What’s up,” and you respond with “Just living the dream,” you almost believe it. Talking to that cute girl or dude at the bar becomes easier, arguments with significant others seem to melt away, and even calling your mom doesn’t make you lose 50 hairs every time she asks when the last time you filled up your car tires was (if you’re reading this mom, I think I did it a couple of weeks ago).
Don’t get me wrong: I want summer vacation as much as the next guy. I want to leave this godforsaken job with a puff of smoke and not think about it until the middle of August when I can come back with a tan and 15 pounds off of the scale. But alas, that doesn’t happen. Outside of the two days that I am missing from work to attempt to improve on certain experiences from last summer, I’m stuck here somewhere in the mid-Atlantic for the best three months of the year. Even still, I cannot wait. May is finally here, which means all of the undergrads will leave town, the trees will be green again, the trails will be packed and ready to run on, the best brunch spots won’t have lines down the street, and I’ll be once again able to sit on my back porch with my feet in the kiddie pool while I sip on Twisted Teas (come at me). Sure, I’ll have to worry about my boss telling me to do things “ASAP” at 5 a.m. or whether or not I locked the front door or my performance review at the beginning of August (cue stress stomach cramps), but I won’t have to do that with gloves on while my nose hurts while walking to work in the morning from the cold. I have a nice 4 or 5 month reprieve while I don’t have to worry about the weather at all. But until the leaves begin to change or I move to the South, I will always have to keep in the back of my mind that “Winter is Coming.”.
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