I was happy with my new boyfriend.
I want it to be last summer again. I was learning and growing and changing so much and I felt like the whole world was right in front of me. I was in that stage where you just realize you're in love and life could not be better, especially since it was life that I was so in love with.
Now I feel the learning and growing and changing has stopped, that the world is so far away, that life is going nowhere. It's all been replaced by sadness and anger and frustration; it's like I'm caught in quicksand and the more I struggle to get back to where I was the deeper I sink. Sooner or later it'll be too late and I'll drown. I'll have to leave the Park that I love so much, and that thought alone makes me want to cry.
At the beginning of last summer I still called myself a Christian, I was discovering that other people shared my passion, and I was living in the beautiful, bustling heart of San Diego and loved my boyfriend. Soon I started questioning my religion even more- I'd already decided I wasn't a very good Catholic and seeing the closed-mindedness of other Christians (The Ex just dismissed my feelings) embarrassed me. When I saw how excited people got about animals I realized how "meh" The Ex felt about them (other than cats and dogs) and started realizing that I wanted to be with someone who shared that passion. Living in Hillcrest, seeing people enjoying their lives made me realize I wanted to really live, not just settle for contentment.
Then, The Ex's former roommate signed a lease with his girlfriend and we all went out for Taco Tuesday. They were adorable in a non-sickening way. It was obvious they were crazy for each other, and we all wanted them to have everything in the whole world. But then, after watching them adore each other, the table turned to us and asked about our plans. I'd already made my feelings known to The Ex months before... but maybe after seeing how excitedly happy our friends were he would see something else for us... But he said, "We'll see when the time comes." No one even asked what that meant. The next day I decided it was time to leave. So I took a week, went out, had fun and forgot about him. He wasn't surprised when I called him after that week and ended it. Maybe he always thought I wasn't serious, or maybe he figured I'd come back after a few months. But I wasn't going to waste this amazing life with someone who wanted different things.
I just found out that the former roommate married his girlfriend. I've never been so truly happy to hear someone got married or engaged- it was perfect for them, and we all knew it. A long time ago I asked the girlfriend about their relationship and she said, with a thick German accent, that she just had to have him. Like it could not be helped, like she had no say in the matter. I know I never would have been as happy with The Ex as those two were every day I saw them. For a while I blamed it on how long we'd been together; 5 years is a long time, but when you start stashing Chipotle napkins in your glove compartment because you'll end up crying during a fight (we fought in the car so roommates couldn't hear) it's time to leave.
At the end of last summer I was talking with a friend about relationships. He said his ideal future is to run a non-profit animal/ecological center with his wife. Living simply, with nature. This would be my ideal future, too. A friend occasionally asks me what I'd do with a million dollars, and I tell her I'd open a rehabilitation center for wildlife. Someday I also want to open a place where rescued elephants can live out their lives, like the Black Beauty Ranch, but designed for elephants.
I went into last summer looking forward to work. When my lead called me early in the morning I asked, "Do I get to work today?!" I ditched plans to stay late or go in on a non-scheduled day (that was only partially because I was broke). I did the dirty work with a smile. Every day was wonderful because every day I was learning about the amazing animals I got to see up close all day long with coworkers and guests who had a real interest in their futures. It was amazing.
This summer I'm trying to figure out how to not get in trouble. There's a fine line between being safe and not injuring myself and being fast, and I don't know where that line is. There's a fine line between an "open door policy" and complaining and being negative, and every thing I say comes out wrong. It might be true that it is what you make it, but it's also true that my guests don't care about the animals the same way that photo caravan guests do. And it might also be true that management in other departments are just as retarded as management in mine, but at least other departments have animals. At least in other departments it's not weird, unnecessary, or "not my job" to continually learn about animals.
I want it to be last summer again.