It’s the first morning when you wake up a little later to the sound of a lawn mower outside your window. When the days get hotter, the pools open, and the schools let out—that’s when the clock starts. It’s summer, and it’s that one time of year where you feel like your days are limited. Where you have to live life to the fullest because, gosh darn it, it’s summer! You’re free to change. Free to leave school as the preppy golden girl and come back in the fall, releasing your inner punk rock side. You can take up running, chop off your hair, or even fall in love. We all know that summer feeling.
I mean, you see it on the screen all the time. The summer romances at the beach with two star-crossed people who fall madly in love (face it, we’re all suckers for those Nicholas Sparks movies). And who doesn’t want that? As a young girl, it was the thing I dreamed about at night. The summer provided a perfect excuse to jump right into a whirlwind relationship for those lucky lovers.
It’s quite a bit harder to imagine for me—your average twenty-one year old. I’ve never really been in, by any means, a “racy” relationship. Flings to me are like 52% scary and 48% exciting. Usually that uncertainty outweighs my curiosity. But four years ago in July, I let that summer go-get-em mentality in and I took a leap of faith. And hey, I found love.
While I was embarking on, of all things, a mother-daughter adventure trip to Costa Rica. Within our travel group of sixteen, I met my Harrison. A stocky, British blonde with one hell of a personality. Throughout the two weeks, we stayed up late comparing our childhoods, our schools, our favorite music and TV shows. And little by little, day by day, we fell for each other. We closed our holiday with a hug and, for me, a couple tears. And today, we’re still together.
We grow up seeing these fantasies, both on TV and in social media, that make us believe that these storybook, spontaneous relationships can only happen when the time’s exactly right. These moments that are once in a lifetime that only really happen to beautiful, adventurous people. And I know the media’s portrayal of summer love is almost always cringe-worthy. But they’re kind of right. Perhaps, for me, it was something about those humid days that lasted a little longer that allowed me to be a bit bolder than I normally am. To strike up the conversation that led to many more.
But looking back, I think that’s quite silly. If only we all started living every day and every season like it was summer. We stopped feeling like our days were limited only during one season, and treated life like all of our days are limited. Take my word for it. Use any excuse to take risks, to go on adventures, to be free, to find love. For many people, including me, the summer was my excuse. But for you it can be anything.
Be daring because it’s Tuesday. Ask out that person you’ve been eyeing because your birthday was fifty-six days ago. Whatever it takes. Be open to adventure and take those leaps of faith as often as you can. I don’t think you’ll regret it.
Words & Photography, Dev Mearns