Summer is a time that I associate with relaxation, freedom, warmth and transition. Once that solstice hits, we enter a time where heat hangs over us and the radiation of the city sun bakes us like a multi-ingredient pizza. It falls on June 21, creating the longest day of the year with an abundance of daylight. The word solstice is derived from two latin words which mean “sun” and “standing still.”
Standing still was sadly one of those things that I was very acquainted with.
Tragedy always felt like it struck during my transitional periods, my mother never saw me graduate high school and my grandmother never saw me graduate college. I had to take semesters off to work just to support myself. I don’t want to sit here and write about how life passed me by and feel sorry for myself because I know things are going to change.
This solstice I will be 27, the year that many musicians passed away. To some, this is an age marking the end of not only their youth, but also their lives. Cobain, Joplin, Hendrix, Jones … all members of a club that I refuse to be a part of. To me, 27 is marking a change, one for the better. I will be transferring to California State University, Northridge in the fall, gaining more knowledge and learning on how to become a better writer and journalist. I always felt like I was a caterpillar all my life, endlessly crawling in a circle, aimless and only looking for sustenance. Now, I feel in a cocoon, preparing to grow into a beautiful butterfly that can do anything.
I was alone until 2020. A year in which I truly felt that I found myself and something that I believe in. As the world felt like it began to collapse on itself, I found love, hope and a goal.
I was on the phone with Guillermo, my boyfriend, when I told him that I wanted to be a writer. And in that moment I didn’t hear any criticism, any dissent or even a small crack. I heard reassurance, support and love. And so I wrote, and I kept writing — blood on the keyboard and my bones hitting the keys as I pushed forward for my goal. Days turned to months, and I achieved part one of my goal, to transfer to CSUN.
To those that read this, understand that your pace is the most important pace of all. Don’t compare yourself to others and focus on what makes you happy. Know that your loved ones are all right behind you, and never forget where you come from.
The summer solstice speaks of standing still. I now disagree. I move forward. We move forward.