Thursday, September 3, 2009

Where did the summer go?

September came suddenly this year. Suddenly I find myself taking the last two courses required for my M.A. in painting, planning to have my graduate show sometime in December. But where did the summer go? I had such high hopes for this summer, but most of them were thwarted. A lot of people were disappointed by the unseasonably cool temperatures. I, on the other hand, was disappointed by the general lack of financial opportunities. Where did all the good jobs go? Why is it suddenly appropriate for companies to offer such low-paying jobs to candidates with college degrees and prior experience? And what the heck is a "jobless recovery?" Sounds like an oxymoron to me.

This has been the summer when I did not:

take any art classes
graduate
have my graduate show
get married
buy a house
get a full-time job

or even go to the Taste of Chicago. I couldn't even afford that. Yes, the summer of 2009 was brutal. I never knew that one could experience the dark night of the soul in the middle of a bright sunny day, but now I see it is entirely possible. Only two things kept me going this past summer, art and yoga.

I am so glad I found an opportunity to take free yoga classes in one of the city parks. That, coupled with walking, helped to restore some small sense of balance in my life. So I at least had a chance to get out and enjoy the nice weather while it lasted. In fact, I was glad it was cooler than normal because it made taking long walks and doing yoga al fresco much more pleasant than it would have been in searing 90 degree heat.

While I was out, I sometimes brought my camera along. I went to Lincoln Park Zoo a few times and took a lot of pictures of the animals there. These are some of my favorites:


meerkat family 2

sleepy lions and flowers

Nants ingonyama bagithi Baba

flowers 2


The only other thing that worked out for me this summer was art, which is ironic because it's the "impractical" thing everyone discouraged me from doing. Yet while employer after employer said "we regret to inform you that we found someone else to take the position you applied for," I had opportunities to show my art, as well as a chance to participate in a public art project. (More on that later.)

For those two things I am extraordinarily grateful.

Yes, the summer of 2009 has been bittersweet. More bitter than sweet, actually. I am trying very hard not to let the misfortunes I experienced make me bitter. Still, I am glad it's over.

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