What are vacations for?

3 11 2009

Vacations and I don’t get along well, it seems.

Having a vacation is always great, especially if you’ve been having a long, challenging academic year, and just need to get in a little bit of rest. Yet I cannot help but feel bored by them. Yes, bored. Short one-week vacations – actually more like study leave – are nice, because even though you usually have a ton of work to complete come the beginning of the next term, at least you don’t have to attend any classes. The winter vacation in the middle of the year is also all right; I usually use that time to read the prescribed books for the following semester, while thinking of possible essay topics (sad, yes, I know), and gulping down steaming mugs of sweet solace (hot chocolate? Yes. Coffee? No. I have coffee, quite a lot of it, but I take it black and bitter, so even though coffee is always its own kind of solace to me, it must here be excluded from the literal meaning of ‘sweet’…) The only bad thing about a winter vacation is that you have to watch what you eat – nobody likes having to lose those few winter comfort kilos.

But all of that is fine; I adore cold weather, so winter vacations are never really a problem. What does bug me, however, are summer vacations. Already I’m struggling to get the words “we’re all going on a summer holiday” – anyone know who sings that song? – out of my head. Summer vacations are extremely hot. And I don’t mean that in a sexy, steamy, sweet romance and nostalgic sweat kind of way. They’re warm, temperate, humid – a curse of dizziness, hay fever (for some, myself excluded), feelings of lethargy, and a desperate struggle to find a means to cool down. It’s easier to warm oneself and feel content in the winter than to feel cool and comfortable in the summer. Unless you have air-conditioning, of course.

I struggle to get up on these warm summer mornings when I am at home. Because my mind is numb and tired after the completion of the academic year, and because I have the comfort of my own bed (and partly because I know it’s just so damn hot outside), my body doesn’t want to seem to shift from its reassuring resting place. This, however, does not prove to help headaches. Instead, it increases them – mine already bordering on migraines, a constant in my daily existence – to such an extent that they evolve into excruciating migraines. Lucky me… Also, I don’t seem to want to do anything, or at least cannot find anything with which to entertain myself. I don’t want to read (sorry, Stephen King, it’s not you, it’s me!), I have no interest in the collection of films my parents have, and I cannot drive anywhere because (a) I don’t own my own car, (b) my father’s car was written off by a stupid 19-year-old who decided to ignore the red light, and, probably most importantly (duh), (c) the fact that I do not have my licence yet. Yes, I’m twenty-two (and a half! Over a half!!), and I do not have my licence. I have a learner’s licence, if that counts for anything… but who would want to drive around in such warm weather anyway? Again, of course, unless your car has air-conditioning. And you actually have things you want to do inside the cool interior of the mall (which, naturally, I do not).

This is the part of the blog where I come to confess that I wish that I actually had something academic or work-related to do during the summer vacation. Shock and horror to some, I know. But I like being busy, keeping myself active with a purpose. That’s why I am glad that I am currently scouting the job jungle (why is it called a market??) for something in the publishing industry, something I would like to call my life’s work and pride… It’s not easy, as you can imagine. The recession wasn’t kind on the media industry, and at this point, they are looking for people with experience. Perhaps it’s true what they say about the difference between an extra-large pizza and a BA degree… Oh you don’t know that joke? Well, they say that at least an extra-large pizza can feed a family of four. Haha. Not really funny, but it’s starting to seem true. If they are looking for people with experience, and I have just finished my second degree at university, how am I supposed to gain experience if nobody is willing to grant me the opportunity?

So now I am sitting here at home, in my bed, mostly still dressed in my pyjamas, while the Stephen King book on the chest of drawers glares at me accusingly, and the unopened room-darkening blinds seem to chuckle their victory over me. Think I’ll just turn over and sleep some more… even though it makes me feel a great deal of vertigo when I decide to get up…

That, and the fact that it’s already 12:15 PM.





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