Friday marked the end of summer, and with it ended one of the most remarkable summers of my life. If you are reading this, you no doubt know that the absolute 360° I did going from Kansas to Alaska. When the summer began, I was pretty sure that it was going to happen … well, at least 50% sure … but at that time it was part of a list of things the summer had in front of me.
My plans for the summer included a grand vacation out east. While it got cut short, I was still able to spend time with my parents and spend time in my favorite place in the world, Gettysburg. I hiked, I sweated, I rested before the great storm that was to come.
My summer was filled of transitions and massive changes. I began the summer sleeping in a house in Kansas messy and filled with all my stuff. It’s now completely transformed, clean as a whistle, and void of all my stuff. Not only will I not live in that house anymore, I will not likely step foot in that house ever again. Instead I have a new house I am just a few weeks away from closing on – and will be a dual homeowner soon for at least a short period of time.
What I think is the most transforming to me is the friends around me. I spent a night with some old Drum Corp friends in a state park somewhere in Maryland, a night on Bourbon Street with judging friends, a weekend with family in Chicago. But I also reached out to old friends I knew on-line but never met – including a good friend near Erie; and in one of the best nights of the summer a day with one of my best friends over the last five years. That being said, it was very tough for me to say goodbye to a lot of great people back in Wichita. Some people who have better friends than they had to be stood by my side as the madness of the last few weeks in Kansas came to a close.
But I thought about this post the other night, as I sat in a restaurant with a coworker I just met the day before and we got to know each other. Here I was, striking a new friendship as part of this new team I am on. Two guys who only share a corporate name on a paycheck; that at the beginning of the summer would never have known each other existed, but now we start a working team by a beer and a few great stories.
As I said, there was a lot I was expecting when the summer began. When I looked ahead, I took a post that George Hopkins (director of the Cadets Drum Corp, and a guy I still look to as a mentor even passively) and paraphrased what I wanted to gain from it. At the time I prayed for two things, that the summer would become as extraordinary that I hoped, and also that I appreciated how extraordinary it is. This was one extraordinary summer. While there were moments I didn’t always appreciate (or for that matter, like) what it became; I can bravely say that this amazing summer was all I could hope for and reached for that appreciation with every hour and every day.