For the past few years, July has been my new years eve. The measure of an entire year to follow. Long days and warm nights. July has been both my muse and my summer love. A lovers back arched in passion, the image you feel the entire next day, trying to have a perfectly normal conversation, in the most extraordinary summer scene. I turn a year older in July, I spin right around the axis of a year gone by. In my bare-feet and big ideas, I usher in July as though she were a royal parade. I offer lemonade, cold beer, and ice cream for dinner. I love July for the way it has us all together, staying up late on Wednesdays, and waking up early on Sundays. Our big laughs, drifting into open windows, but no one ever says shhh shhh could you please keep it down…shhh shhh, we are trying to sleep. You just let the sounds of summer come right into your windows.
For the past few years, I have chased July all across the rest of the months, to please, please come back. But like any summer lover, she never does.
August to me, has never felt the same. Never as free. It feels like trying to fit in, what we forgot. Turning the page sideways to write in the margins. A post-it note that keeps falling to the ground.
Last Fall, I begged the leaves not the change colors, and when they did, I willed them to not fall on the ground. July had been too sweet, too tempting. And August, still so warm and with so much promise, just wasn’t good enough, because it wasn’t July. August rose and fell in shorter days, all the while…I was falling too.
Holding onto things, willing them into a state that is not bigger than nature…it never works.
I observed my own life. And my own natural rhythym, of drawing my hands over my tan lines, remembering when…remembering when…maybe it’s cause I knew, we would all go back inside, soon, we would all close our windows, soon. We would say things about keeping it down, don’t you know that it’s Wednesday? We have work in the morning. It’s getting dark now, and anyways, we should be going.
I would start to underperform significantly in my job, comparing days. I grew weary and restless of my surroundings, I chased the feeling of July into a shiny new job, and a new house, defiantly eating ice cream for dinner, surely, this was it, I’d find July. By end of Fall, I had made significant changes, I beat down the shorter days with harder work, and stronger will.
And it worked. Kind of.
But my plan to be bigger than the natural course of things, caught up to me. My tan lines had faded, what was I chasing? I couldn’t remember anymore.
Last winter? Was rough. And with shorter days, I was able to hide, it was easier. Accountable to no one…Winter allows for solidarity, and fewer questions. It also allows for all sorts of absolutely beautiful things too…but a winter in California can be a bit confusing. The days are shorter, but the sun…it can feel like you should be doing more than you are. I missed winters in NY, which were so distinct, and I could make sense of. A few months of snow, is a perfect reason for someone like me…to retreat. Oh, you know, it’s snowing…I’m sorry to have missed you.
When July arrived this year, it felt, in the best best way, like it snuck up on me. Like your childhood best friend showing up on your doorstep, SURPRISE! My feet, were just getting on the ground. Painting rooms in my home. Landing a new job. Inviting people over. Realizing, finally, that I couldn’t keep chasing July…
That I didn’t want to.
I fell in love so many times in July. On the very first night, I turned 34, surrounded by friends, I waved sparklers into the air, tracing words wild into the sky that would then, immediately disappear, I felt no need for them to stay, I understood that was never the point. I looked around at my friends, chasing their own words, big smiles, as it all just disappeared. We didn’t need the proof of one night…
My travels took me through little rock Arkansas teaching yoga at my dear buddies studio, to the deepest part of Louisiana, into the operating room, to be in my very first surgery in my new job (it was fascinating and awesome, and I totally would have held the scalpel if asked).
It took me to lake life, for 4 days of fresh air, and sweet friendship, and dancing with my head back, and my hair down. Remembering, proving, and honoring…that for me, being around empowered women, is what saves me again and again.
I spent so many nights, and Sundays with friends who I just fall deeper into love with each and every time. Some in person, some on the phone. Friends who tell me again and again how much they love me, they know….they just know where I have and haven’t healed, and I am surrounded now by people who remind me, I can be whatever I want to be for, and in this world.
I fell so so in love in Canada. A rainy day in Vancouver, followed by 2 blissful days in Whistler. A last-minute trip (the best kind) to see a forever friend, race her heart out in ironman. I will never forget seeing her cross that finish, and I will never forget how important it is, to make new friends. I didn’t know anyone in this group…and now, I’ll know them always. People take care of each other, it’s how it is. That trip ended with fresh bread, avocados, and espressos with another forever friend. If you’re ever in Vancouver, go find Festival Maz, at the Distrikt. She’s changing landscapes, that babe.
And the love letter to the pacific north-west, the promise to come back to stay. It’s absolutely where I am meant to live. Dear PNW, I’ll be back, in the meantime, stay gorgeous. Love, Lyndsey Fryer.
And as July almost gave way to August…I realized how much different it felt this time. How I knew, that however sweet, I would not chase July across the rest of the months, begging her back to share her long days, warm nights and ice cream for dinner.
I didn’t need to anymore.
And so as I prepared to bid adieu to July, and welcome in August…she came.
On our first date, we had iced coffee on a Monday, and our second date, we had white wine on a Tuesday…and from there, I cant tell you what has passed over my lips, I don’t remember…because I was drunk on summer.
Maybe it’s July.
But in August I reached for her in the middle of the night, and my hand found hers, and it was easy….and I have reached for hands before, clumsy, and afraid. And I have let go, too soon. And I wondered if she would come awake…but she didn’t…and her hand closed around mine and I watched her soft lullabye of breathe, and I had this absolute moment of not wanting to be anywhere else…but of also not wishing for it to by July.
And like anything, I know to share when I am afraid to share. And I am…cause I am, to be fully honest, in all the big questions I am in like, oh no, and what if, and what does this all mean, and what if I marry a man, and what will you all think, and what will she think…and what if…and what if….
And I think about last year and how I lived in the what if, every month had been July. And how it stopped me completely from living in any other month.
And I think about how it has been so so long since I slept next to someone and how nice it feels…how can a heartbeat so close change everything…but it does, huh. It really does.
And when I share things that are hard, her eyes soften…and when I share things that are easy…her eyes soften…and all the while, her hands stay open. Her eyes, by the way are one million shades of green…and her hair is wild and wavy and just past her shoulders. She is beautiful. She is kind. She is so so kind.
I realized, talking to one of my bests last night…I don’t have to know. She doesn’t either. We are honest about that.
I’ve practiced being brave, and I’ve said things out loud things into the space we share that I cant ever take back. That’s the thing about words, and space. That’s the thing about me and you. So say what you need to…and say what you must.
Every time I say the truth, I never ever end of regretting it.
And so. July is complete. And the girl that said hello in July, is holding my hand in August. And all the friends I made in July, are now deepening into August. And all the love I fell into, surrounds me….and I don’t need to chase it, or keep it in a bottle.
That never works anyway.
To the end of summer.
To the transition of Fall.
I’m so ready.