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Summer Ramble

Ah, Indiana summers. So hot, humid, and overbearing... nothing like the summers in the upper peninsula of Michigan. I remember there usually being a cool breeze, the scent of fresh water and trees on the wind.... Sure, I don't get chewed up by mosquitoes nearly as much here in Indiana, but then again, I go outside a whole heck of a lot less, too. Growing up, I'd say roughly half my time was spent outside, and the other half was divided between sleeping and watching TV. If it weren't for the heat, sweatiness, and odor of pigs on the breeze here, I might spend more time outside. Aside from those issues, there's also bigger, hungrier mosquitoes and less large, grassy areas around here (It's all corn fields!). There's also nowhere to go swimming... and that is a big problem for me.

Anytime I could in the last few years before moving to Indiana, I was going swimming. I was always trying to drag my friends out to my favorite haunt -- Big Lake. It's kind of a joke, I guess, because it's not really all that big, and I don't know whether or not it is, in fact, a lake. I don't remember whether I ever succeeded in getting them to come there with me or not, but I still went there a lot anyways. For a long time, the only person I could get to go with me was one of my neighbors and her son. It's not that I really minded spending time with her, I simply preferred my other friends. I can't quite put my finger on why, although it may be due to the fact that I seemed to always have to explain everything to her. It was as if every large word I used was the first time she had ever heard it. That's all fine and well when speaking with a ten year old (or something like that, I don't really spend a lot of time around kids, so that's a rough estimate of when they learn "big words"), but I don't want to have to define and dumb down my speech for my friends. There's just something about it that feels... wrong. Like I'm fooling myself or trying to just be cool for the sake of popularity. It's just not me.

Anyway, this alleged lake has always been, since I first went, my favorite place to swim. It's perfect in every way -- soft sand, no rocks, no leeches, and best of all... it's as warm as bath water in the summertime. As a special perk, it's out in the middle of nowhere and isn't too well known, so it's rare that you have to share the small beach accessible from the road with anyone else. I'm not the most social person on Earth (thank my dad for that. We always called him "Mr. Asocial" as I was growing up), so that's just right for me, too. It was, in many ways, my own little paradise. I used to drive out there just to sit with my feet in the water and think; the peacefulness of it really lent itself to introspection and reflection, something I've been really into since I got all my partying out of my system. Nowadays, I much prefer just sitting at home, quietly listening to music or doing sudoku puzzles, or maybe even reading, over going out and drinking or having a get-together with a bunch of friends. I suppose it doesn't hurt that I don't really have too many friends here to begin with. I guess I've always been a bit of a "fly solo" kind of person -- I didn't have many friends up north, either. Tons of acquaintances, but real friends were kind of hard to come by.

I guess today I'm just really missing home more than anything (or maybe it's just anxiety talking). I've been thinking a lot about how lonely it is here for me. Believe me, making friends back home has nothing on the difficulty level here. People just aren't all that friendly with each other here. You can't even look someone in the eye and say hello to them without getting a suspicious look! Quite a few times when I've tried making friends with people I've worked with, they didn't know how to react to me. So maybe I'm a little socially awkward sometimes, I can totally see that, but what is so wrong with just being genuinely nice? People tend to take it the wrong way and think I have some ulterior motive other than just to be a friendly person it seems. That's the main reason why I actually hate going anywhere where there's a lot of people to actually socialize with. My experience has been feeling embarrassed just for being me. Nobody wants that, so I'd rather just be alone. And that's why I miss summers up north... the time to think and space to just be. I really wish I could just visit Big Lake on a day like today....


Charlene said...

Throughout my life, I've often felt like the "weird" one but I guess I'm getting more social as I get older. You just gotta be confident in being yourself and people will surely appreciate the genuine, nice, you. :-)

Linda said...

When did you call dad Mr. Asocial? That's a new one for us.

Lady Midnight said...

mmm, long lazy hot summers, sounds like just what we get here! you've made me want to swimming now. i love swimming too, but being stuck in the middle of sydney makes it hard to feel all that connected to nature, and means swimming is either done in a pool or at a tourist filled beach. actually, the beach would be beautiful on a day like today...
i'm really enjoying your blog by the way!

La Jenno said...

@Charlene -- thanks for the comment, good to know I'm not the only awkward one sometimes. The hard part for me is getting past my fear of rejection. I'm totally cool with just being me, especially more so in the past few years.

La Jenno said...

@Momby -- Uh, like we all did every night when he went upstairs by himself to go watch TV. Or it was something like, "there goes your dad being asocial again." I could've sworn there was a Mr. attached to it, though.

La Jenno said...

@Lady Midnight -- It's one of my best-loved relaxation methods, swimming. I also like to fish, but that's another hobby I had to drop to move here. Even if I could afford it still, there's nowhere here where the water is clean enough (read: contaminated fishies) for me to want to actually catch anything. Sometimes the fight is the best part though.... Glad you're enjoying my writings, and I'm glad to have you here to share them with me. :)

Argentum Vulgaris said...

Swimming holes and catching cockabullies in the stream, boyhood memories of summer. We weren't allowed to go swimming there, and we were allowed near the stream to catch cockabullies, but then we were boys.


La Jenno said...

@AV -- Cockabullies, eh? Man, New Zealand never ceases to wonder me... Not that I never caught things out of a stream as a kid, but never fish! They're too fast for me. I'd love to someday visit (or maybe even move to) New Zealand and see cockabullies for myself. The scenery and weather was enough to entice me, but add in a squirmy, slimy thing that I can catch and that seals the deal. ;) Thanks for sharing your memories! :)

About La Jenno

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Vincennes, Indiana, United States
26 years old. Daring. Disenchanted. Different. Trying to live in a friendlier yet more honest world. There is sometimes no larger dilemma.

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