Well, the humidity has finally broke on Long Island (at least for the next day or two). And instead of a hot wet hell, the weather in my hometown is actually enjoyable. The air is crisp and fresh, the sun warms my skin just enough. A type of Long Island weather I have not experienced since I lived at home all year, since high school.

Lord, how easily it brings back nostalgia. At work, I’ll sit on the same playground I sat on three years ago, watching the toddlers play. And I cannot help but be transported back to a time when everything was so much simpler. I feel like I’m 17 again, when I would come to work at the daycare after high school, when the temperatures finally started to warm in the spring and we could finally use the playground again. Before work, my friends and I probably cut class to get lunch or go shopping. After work, I’ll go eat dinner with my whole family, and then probably go hang out by the water with my friends. Our stress levels were at close to zero, our friendships were stronger than ever: we were all committed to college, we were all leaving each other in a couple of months, and nothing else mattered.

But since then everything has changed. We all left, we all made other friends. We ended our high school relationships and found much better people out there. We did things we never imagined doing before, we saw what we thought only existed in rated R movies before. Life got harder. Workloads became killer. Responsibility sucked.

And then we came home. Picked up our high school jobs, and maybe another job or two because now, we had more to spend money on than just ice cream. We hung out, we caught up, we talked about our new friends, our adventures, and our separate lives we created.  We used to hang out every night in high school, but now we hang out maybe once a week—we are all on different schedules and always so tired.

We all bitch about home now, how we wish we could leave in the summer like those rich kids whose parents pay for their apartment in the city. We get bored, we spend nights stressing about the future. We run into people wondering just how you are doing. People bring up your past and you always have to refrain from punching them.

And it is not the same. Being home isn’t as fun as it used to be, you are not as happy as you used to be at home. In the “Death Cab for Cutie” song, they say: “If you feel just like a tourist, in the city you were born in than it’s time to go.” And it is almost getting to that point.

But for now, I still have a life here, and at least on the YMCA playground I can pretend nothing ever changed.

Published by Anne Flamio