summer in the plum

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Wake up. Alternate between a black t-shirt, black leggings, black athletic shorts, the black scratchy fake denim shorts that you hate wearing but everything is dirty so you don’t have a choice. Put on the leather non-slip black shoes that will have your feet barking back at you in a matter of hours. Walk to work, debate whether or not you should order food during your shift because you ran food to a table and it looked so good (you decide not to by the end of the night), goof around with your server and hostess friends, walk home, anxiously fumble with your shoelaces and let a sigh of relief escape your mouth as you feel the leather loosening and the soles of your feet can finally breathe. Fall into bed and do it all over again until you realize it’s your day off.

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It can be safely said that a majority of my free time this summer has been spent on the RTA.  But I think of it more as “It only costs $5.50 to go on an adventure.”

Summer is usually characterized as a lazy time of year – while that has been true for me the two previous summers, this year has proven to be drastically different. I’m out of the house more than I’m in it – more so by force rather than choice, although admittedly I hate not being active. I always want to be doing something – regardless of how physically or mentally exhausted I may be on any given day, or what my bank account says. I’m going on vacation next weekend and when my dad booked my ticket a couple of months ago I remember asking him if I could work  for him (note that I’m only staying with him for a week) – without hesitation he said “No, baby, you’re on vacation. You’re coming here to relax.” Relax? Me? I feel as though that word eliminated itself from my vocabulary a while ago. I’ve been out and about so much lately that my mind and body haven’t been able to catch up to each other. I’m always walking somewhere, or walking home from somewhere, or on a bus or train.

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The Cavs may not have won the NBA Finals this year (come on guys, did you really think we could pull that off again this year? Be honest with yourselves) but Cleveland is still more or less the same. The championship glow from last summer still lingers and I’ve been trying my best to explore as much as possible and make new memories.

 

 

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My friend Arbela has been using bullet journaling to keep herself organized and I decided to try it out for the summer. I bought a package of Moleskine cahier journals in March and decided to put them to use. I’ve been so bored at the host stand at work these past couple of weeks that my bullet journal is already filled out till the end of August. Making different layouts for each week and color coordinating them is surprisingly relaxing. To learn more about bullet journaling, check out the post   Arbela made a while back!

July 1st was Second Half of the Year day – in other words, the 182nd day of 2017. It’s hard to believe how quickly this year is going by, but so far I have no complaints (besides the man who was sworn in as our president back in January, but I won’t get into that). This year has been liberating for me, especially this summer. I spent the past two summers engrossed in a relationship. With work, my friends, my family, and everything in between going on right now, I’m able to put myself first and do what makes me happy, rather than spending every other second worrying about cramming in as much time as I can with a significant other.

So, what exactly have I been up to this summer?

  • Last month, Jonathan Safran Foer (author of Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close and Everything is Illuminated) came to Cleveland State to give a talk about his most recent book, Here I Am. I actually wrote an article about it, which you can find here.  The best part of that night was that he did a book signing, which I had no idea about before I attended the event, so I got to meet him. I said “Hi” way too excitedly. For a second words seemed to forget how to come out of my mouth but then I realized what was happening and who was sitting in front of me so I snapped out of it gave him the whole “as an English major and writer it’s so cool to meet you” spiel and he asked what my name was, so I told him, and he signed my book and I said “Enjoy Cleveland!” and walked away.  Before Jonathan the only author I’d met before was Ann M. Martin, who wrote The Babysitters Club series, but I was twelve then and I didn’t grow up in that generation so the enchantment wasn’t really there.

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  • Friday was my last day at my office job. It was so bittersweet – it was the first non-restaurant job I’ve had in my life, so the change of scenery was nice, and I enjoyed doing more one-on-one work with the people who came in for assistance. The job definitely taught me to be more compassionate and patient. One of my coworkers came in during the last hour of my shift with a huge vase of flowers and a package of cupcakes, and everyone in the office signed a card for me, which was so sweet. I’m really going to miss that group so much. It was days like Friday that made me so thankful for the experiences I’ve had and the people I’ve met this year.
  • Last week I caught up with a dear friend from high school, who I haven’t seen in a year. He spent last semester in Argentina. While we were getting coffee he asked me if I wanted to go to the library with him, and how could I say no to that? So we spent close to an hour and a half at the library, during which I helped him track down Pablo Neruda books. When we found them, we sat down in the aisle and looked through the books that surrounded us. In my circle of friends I’ve always been That Bitch who always gets excited about books and everything else associated, so to be able to connect with someone else through a love for literature was so, for lack of a better word, cool.
  • I went to the movies for the first time in over two years. My best friend and I spontaneously decided to see Wonder Woman a couple of weeks ago and it was such a fantastic film. It was so empowering and exactly the kind of movie women need right now. The screenplay was well done – there were so many good lines, and there were very few male gaze elements in the film, which I loved. Every so often during the movie Carla and I would lean in to each other just to say how beautiful Diana was. Gal Gadot is without a doubt the most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen in my life.

I doubt you all want to hear about my sports bar job (which I now accurately consider my second home) in excruciating detail, so I’m going to call it a day here.

I hope you’re all having a wonderful summer, and doing cool things. Happiness really is a choice, so I hope you’ve been making it.

I have a lot of ideas for content, so stay tuned!

Until next time, with love,

Grace

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