1. No nude beaches.
Last summer I was forced to part with my slight case of control—freak, and left it up to some new friends to plan our summer getaways. I never knew how fun it could be to let someone else plan a trip and not have to worry about the itinerary for the day and how everyone is getting where. I enjoyed playing groupie to my gay guy pals who introduced me to the risque retreats that are Fire Island, NY and Asbury Park, NJ. I experienced a lot of firsts including my first nude beach (which ironically the only people completely nude were people who should’ve kept on their clothes), my first drag show (in which the star put a trembling me on the spot because of my perfectly arched brows and big hair; at least I got a free shot out the deal). The experiences were capped off with a Maltese who packed more outfits than me, a bestie’s drunken meltdown which brought us closer after I walked across the boardwalk barefoot at 1 AM, and two completely nude males knocking at my door mistakenly looking for the scheduled threesome. Crazy, right? And the truth is this summer I missed losing my mind as well as some great friends.
2. I missed Drake not once, but twice.
My summer was supposed to be epic, and the pinnacle of this “Judy Moody and the Not So Bummer Summer” was a trip to Toronto so I could experience OVOFest, Drake’s annual concert thrown in his hometown. In the process of holding out for this event, I bypassed what ended up being not one, but two chances to see the man whom I have fornicated with in my mind a thousand times. Did I mention that the first time I had the chance to see Drake in D.C. a few years ago, by the time he hit the stage I had to hail a cab so that I wouldn’t miss my train? The man was a mere block away from me when he decided to hug the block with the homie Meek Mills after performing at the Susquehanna Bank Center this summer and he decided to make an appearance at Labor Day weekend’s Made in America Fest long after tickets were sold out. And even though on both occasions we were in the same zipcode, I ended up living these experiences vicariously through WordOnRoad’s Twitter timeline. Maybe the universe is working overtime on keeping me and Mr. Graham from meeting, meanwhile I’ll just keep holding out for my dream of seeing him at Radio City Music Hall. The lesson I learned in all of this: The refresh button will only get you shittier seats. Take what you can get.
3. I worked full time.
Don’t get me wrong, there was very good chance that the budget cuts from this past fiscal year could’ve had me filing for unemployment, but they didn’t and for that I am grateful. But let’s keep in mind that I am someone who at one time was used to starting my work day at 10:00 am and having Friday’s off so working full-time this summer was a drastic change for me. Not to mention I used up all of my paid time off by July. This summer I felt like it was so hard to schedule in amusement parks between cleaning the office closet and updating the curriculum. I definitely didn’t miss part-time come payday, but next summer I’ll make sure to save enough PTO so that I can take a week to get my Tilt-A-Whirl on.
4. Friends and funnel cake went MIA.
The downside of creating epic adventures is that they’re no fun if the friends can’t have none. And this summer me and my besties were either broke or busy. There were a lot less drunken spills in the parking lot after the let out, not getting lost in new cities after Greyhound drops you off in the middle of nowhere and no funnel cake. Even if the fall weather turns frigid, I’m sure we’ll find time to carve pumpkins, schedule the occasional wine and Wii weekend and risk pneumonia trying to smoke hookah in the dead of December, but we’ll have to wait until next summer for the road trips and and summer concerts series.
5. I pitched way more than I was published.
I’m beginning to wonder if my first few years of freelancing resulted from beginner’s luck. Seriously, my first regularly paid gig came via an e-mail singing a publication’s praises which I intended to write for for free if it meant just being featured on their site. Life was good that first year as my pieces frequently got hits that reached into the hundred thousands, I connected with a lot of cool people both readers and writers and last August I was even featured on the New York Time’s website (Shameless Plug: “Breaking from Tradition”). And let’s be honest, my savings account wasn’t exactly hurting either. But lately I feel like I’ve lost momentum and I’m beginning to think my time and talent are both running out. I’ve pitched to a number of on-line publications and have only been published in one new one. (Shout out to Corset Magazine!) Reality is beginning to set in as I realize making a name for myself in on-line journalism is hard, ego-shattering work. I question if what I’m writing is what people want to read (and if it isn’t, am I willing to sacrifice writing about the topics I’m passionate about). I mean let’s face it: My new year’s resolution was to boycott VH-1, so you won’t catch me writing about how Mimi is a fool for staying with Stevie J., but if you’re interested I do have some clever commentary to offer on the fuckery of life and things that I really hope will help people. Hopefully there’s still a market for that.
6. I found out my ears weren’t “fleshy” enough.
Piercings work best in pairs, and since I‘ve had my ears pierced for as long as I can remember, I decided to pierce another pair on my body. After not passing out from the pain and unwrapping a pleasant little surprise everytime I removed my bra, I decided it was safe to go back to my ears and get an industrial bar (You know the piercing that looks like a bar is basically going through across the top of someone’s ear). The piercer quickly popped what I thought was my edgy bubble when he informed me that my ears weren’t “fleshy or foldy” enough to not reject the piercing. And even a second opinion agreed, “Every piercing is not for everybody,” and since I have an office job to go to forty-hours a week, I think I’m done playing hole puncher on my limbs.
What do you remember most about the summer of 2012 and what are you hoping to forget?