Summer v Summer

It seems a slightly odd notion to most people when I say to them that this summer has been as good as last one, as they wonder what on Earth I’m talking about. How could a summer in Britain be as good as one in the USA?

Well, in truth it probably wasn’t. This summer has rapidly begun to fizzle away, but this could in turn be a good thing. If I had gone back to the USA this summer to do the same thing as I did last year, then I would be back home by now anyway, so I’d be in the same position as I am at the moment.

But what about a direct comparison between the two summers? It’s something I’ve been wondering in the last week or so, and it would be quite valuable for me to work it out.

Last summer I learned a hell of a lot about me. I discovered that I had a lot more confidence and belief in myself that I thought I had. It has set a very high bar which I can say to myself that it is possible for me to reach; it was a lesson to me that if I could just take a risk more often, I can actually cope with whatever is going to come beyond that, and cope well. It was also a lot of fun, and the weather was not bad either!

This summer, however, has been a different experience. I learned from last year, and took a risk on working in a local primary school. That also paid off. I discovered that it was definitely something I’d like to do. I had an idea that I would like to work with children from last year, but this confirmed it for a different age group. I had a lot of fun, but didn’t use all of my talents like I did last year. This was a bit disappointing. Also, the weather was nice for most of July, but it has been atrocious (for a summer) since then. But I did enjoy my time doing what I did; it was unique, it gave me a boost for what I want to do with the rest of my life, and it gave me something to do. On the negative side, it didn’t pay anything, whereas I did make some money out of my American Adventure last year. But it’s not just about money…

On balance, it appears the USA should win. But had I gone away this year, I would have missed my 21st birthday, my cousin’s 18th and my mum and dad’s silver wedding anniversary. This changes things a little. Then there is the fact that this summer in the USA would have been different for the key reason that the director of the unit was going to be someone who I didn’t get on well with last year.

So it’s not as straightforward as it first seems. I think, overall, the USA last summer was better than what I’ve done this summer. But I honestly don’t think it would have been good for me to have gone back again this year… it probably wouldn’t have lived up to expectations, which have now been tainted with the rose-tint of time. I think to myself “was last summer really that good as my memory is telling me?” … particularly when I read some of the posts I made from camp on this blog which are somewhat less glowing about the place than I am in my memory.

It’s tough. Last summer was better – marginally – but this summer was something I just had to do to set me on some sort of direction in life, and it hasn’t worked out too badly.

So now there is another question: should I go back to America next year? It all depends on how things work out in London now…

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