Summer is almost my favorite time of the year. Mostly because what better way to kick off camping, bonfires, s’mores and water activities on the lake than my birthday? As the official start of summer (June 21st), my birthday is always a great day and a great start to one of my favorite seasons. Summer represents freedom to me. I can remember as a child that my birthday meant the end of the school year and the beginning of freedom. Summer was when I got to have sleepovers and hang out with my cousins and my friends. As a young adult summer meant after work, there would be a bonfire or a night out celebrating with my girlfriends. Every night in the summer is like a Friday night!
When Trevor and I started dating (which was literally 3 days after we met) I knew that I was in love with him. But being in love did not stop me from being scared. I had been hurt too many times, and I had a wall built around my heart like Fort Knox. I didn’t want anyone to get in there. Not even Trevor. My defense mechanism has always been to “jump ship in order to avoid being pushed” and I am usually the one to always exit stage left before getting hurt.
He has had his fair share of heartache as well. So I think it is fair to say that we both were reserved. Our feelings for one another were undeniable, we were in love. But your mind is a powerful thing. Your heart may be telling you that you are in love, but your mind is constantly reminding you of how your last bout with ‘love’ ended. At least that is what was happening with us.
We started dating a few days before thanksgiving. The holidays are truly my favorite season if you will. I love thanksgiving and I love Christmas; the decorating, the food, the family that gathers; so this was an extremely exciting time for me. Add in a new thriving relationship and I was on cloud nine. But cloud nine did not stop my mind from trying to prevent my heart from being broken.
By the time January rolled around, spending my evenings and weekends off with Trevor had become my new normal. At the end of January he passed the family test with flying colors as we all gathered to celebrate my mom’s birthday. Everyone loved him. We were still getting to know each other and things between us were great. And before we knew it, it was spring.
Towards the end of April of that year, we were out to lunch at a local spot that we love right on the water when Trevor dropped a bomb on me. He was going to home to California that summer and he wanted me to go with him to meet his family. I think I stopped in mid bite of my sandwich.
“This summer?” I asked. He nodded. He said he was thinking about the middle of August after his birthday and the NASCAR race in our town was over. I wasn’t sure how to respond, so I just froze. On the inside, I was having a panic attack. I didn’t want to talk about summer. Summer was supposed to be my time. My time to enjoy camping, bonfires, s’mores and all the water activities that I loved that I never seemed to have tome enough to partake in. Why did he want to talk about summer? Would we even still be together in the summer? My mind was telling to run off the edge of the dock and jump; literally and figuratively. My heart started to race. I had always wanted to visit California. As a child, I dreamed of going to Stanford to study medicine and then I would open up a practice in Napa Valley. Although Trevor’s family lives nowhere near Napa Valley, the little girl inside of me was screaming that this was our chance! But the adult me was having major reservations.
At this point I realized just how much time had lapsed in the present. I still was in mid bite and I am sure Trevor must of thought I was absolutely nuts as at least 5 minutes had passed with me holding this sandwich in midair and not answering him at all. “Summer is just so far away. Let’s not talk about summer quite yet.” After a little more convincing and his offer to purchase my ticket, I figured what the heck? I won’t be out anything but my time. Later that week, the tickets were booked.
Little did I know that the little trip to California, to meet Trevor’s family would end up being a trip to California to Say “I do.”
And to think that I was the one who did not want to talk about summer.