It’s great to be back.
There’s nothing quite like seeing people that you haven’t seen in three months. People who are important to you. People who are irreplaceable parts of your personal history.
I keep getting tackled. Not floored, mind, just bear hugged when I least expect to be bear hugged. There’s nothing like a happy reunion to make your day better.
Then come the inevitable rounds of “how was your summer?”
I can’t fit my summer in a sentence. This summer was very long. I feel like I can’t possibly describe it all and keep a person’s interest. This summer was the fullest of my life. It was phenomenal. It was earth-shattering. It was beyond wonderful.
But what do I say in reply?
“Oh, it was great. How was yours?”
I get the distinct impression that other people feel the same way. There’s a lot hidden behind small talk that doesn’t come out in the open, which is part of why small talk makes me uncomfortable. I find myself trying to communicate with filler words and sounds, which don’t communicate anything and make me sound nervous.
And then not everyone had wonderful summers. Some people’s summers just stunk. And it’s hard to communicate genuine empathy when 1) I had a great summer and 2) I don’t know exactly what it is that the person faced.
I’ve written myself into a hole, here. I suppose I’m trying to say that a few short words can’t hold a summer, and I wonder why we try.