If there’s anything last summer taught me, it’s that life on your own is rarely easy. I rented a tiny house on the edge of town in Moscow, Idaho and relied on a friend’s bike to get me to work every day. Living alone on a very limited budget, I was lucky to have my mom helping me with rent and food costs. I had all these grand hopes for the summer; I planned on having my Moscow friends in and out of the house, enjoying my independence, cooking my kind of meals… In reality, I was too tired at the end of the day to cook anything remotely delicious. My friends mostly still lived with their parents and could rarely make the commute to my shanty. When they could, there wasn’t much to do there. I had a television and a few movies, no cable, no internet service. Aside from companionship from my sainted friend Chelsea, I was pretty much alone for most of the summer. I fortunately have family in Moscow, but I didn’t want to rely on them too heavily for company and meals. I unfortunately spent lots of time feeling sorry for myself. I missed Paul, who was with his family in Seattle and not quite my boyfriend. I missed my Hawaii family and friends beyond belief. It wasn’t all bad though; I made lots of money as a lifeguard and really learned the value of a library card. I’m a little proud of myself for making it through the whole summer there, but I’m not doing it again. This time, I’m factoring my personal sanity into the equation when making plans for summer 2012.
This summer, I hope to be living on-campus at a house that I’m renting for the year with other female GU students. The lease starts in June; I’ll probably be staying with Lauren for the month prior. Going home isn’t really in my cards for the summer. If it happens, it happens, but it is all contingent upon the jobs I can secure for the summer. Paul will be getting his own place and taking some science classes in preparation for the MCAT test in August. I am so happy that he is staying. I am convincing myself that it’s really in his best interest to be in Spokane, but I’m also selfishly rejoicing in his summer proximity.
After my all-work-and-no-play summer of last year, I’m making sure that I factor happiness into my goals this time. Maybe I’ll go on a wild road trip with Paul, or visit the McCombs family in Mississippi. Day-to-day plans are necessary too. I’ll join a yoga studio, take Paul out to Thai food and make room in my budget for shopping/eating/vacationing. It’s important for me to save and earn money, but it’s more important that I look forward to waking up every day.