Towards the end of every summer, right around the end of August, I am faced with a really hard goodbye.
No, I'm not saying goodbye to summer. That's stupid. Summer is a season and thus I cannot talk to it.
I mean the pool. For the past 7 years I have been working at the Hampton Pool. I started as a part-time/casual staff when I was 15 years old and I worked my way up to the head supervisor in 2011.
Side note: I love the pool. I grew up there. I wanted to be the supervisor since I found out that it was a job.
Anyway, I have a real soft spot for the pool. When the summer ends, I am left with a big empty hole. A big metaphorical hole... in me. And a big real hole... in the ground. A big hole that is really hard to leave. It is just really hard to go.
The thing is, I am never happier than when I am at the pool. The staff feels like family and they make work not feel like work. During the summer, I spend 9, 10, 11, 12 hours a day at the pool. What I'm trying to say is I really love working at the pool.
When the summer comes to the end, it is hard to leave.
Last summer I had two goodbyes like this. You see, last May I graduated from university and I decided to grow up. Up until this point I had been driving my grandmother's van; she was silver and I named her Nelly-Lou. She ate gas like nobody's business and she was pretty much mine. But at the end of the day, she was still my grandmother's van. I had decided it was time to get my own car. So I had to give up ol' Nelly-Lou.
I got my car; a 2007 Subaru Outback named Sally. She is green. But she wasn't my van. If it weren't for the fact the I got my dream car (the Outback) I would have never been able to give up the van. It took some getting used to but I have fallen in love with my new car.
But I do need to say something to Nelly-Lou:
Nelly, if you are out there, I know you aren't reading this cause you are a van and vans can't read. Come to think of it, no car can read. Come to think of that, I think the new ones can. But that is neither here nor there. Listen, Nelly. You were a great van. You were such a great van that I named my dog after you. Well, she came with her name and it was simply coincidence that you share the name Nelly (although her name is spelled with an "IE" like Nellie NcClung from the Heritage Minute, not with a "Y" like the rapper). Nelly, you and I did everything together; we drove around, you got me from point A to point B, you moved me to and from university 4 years, got me (and others) to the hospital, late night food runs, and so many sleepovers. (For anyone who doesn't know, I slept in that van more times than I like to admit). Seriously, you got me through heart break, heart burn, and heart to hearts. You drove me crazy, and I... I just drove you. You were the first motorized vehicle I ever drove; you taught me how to drive. Remember those times I checked your fluids? Man, good times. Nelly, I hope you are out there helping someone else making that transition from boy to slightly older boy. I love you Nelly. Always will.
A couple weeks after letting Nelly go, I left the pool which could have possibly been the last time ever. I had that feeling again. The hard goodbye. I kept my keys though just in case I did end up going back.
And you know what? I am going back.
I am really excited to get back to the pool, but I do have that feeling again where my heart feels heavy. It feels a lot heaver than I thought it would when I am so close to going back to the pool.
You see, in order to go back to the pool, I have to leave my current job. I have spent the last seven months working at Boys and Girls Club in Fredericton. I'll admit there were some really hard times, but there were also some really great times. It has really been a blast hanging out and getting to know over 50 kids. It seems like I just got all their names down and now it is time to go. I learned a lot from these kids and the staff and I hope I made some good friends.
So, this is it. Thanks FBGC. It has been a slice!