I know many states have lifted their shelter-in-place restrictions and for some, life is getting to a more normal state. In Texas, the story is much different.
I live in Austin, and while we technically are not under a shelter-in-place rule right now, we are being told to stay home and businesses are required to enforce masks. Some businesses have closed down again.
Today, June 27, is the day my friend and I planned to drive to Houston to see Justin Bieber on his comeback tour, Changes. The entire tour was put on hold.
Right now, Houston is facing a medical disaster. Their hospitals are full of COVID patients and they are putting adult patients into the children’s hospital.
Now, I know Justin Bieber isn’t everyone’s favorite person, especially not right now. But, I’ve always been a fan, and I’ve been thinking a lot of when I saw him many summers ago in Indianapolis. My friend and I were invited the day before, by someone with a box. It was a dream!
We bought Justin Bieber shirts before the show and we sang every word. I had just gone through a breakup — it was a bad, manipulative one. And that night, just being able to escape and sing and see the Biebs flying from the ceiling wearing huge wings… it was such a treat.
That’s what pop music has always been for me, and I was very much looking forward to a night with my best friend, screaming and dancing to the songs on the new album.
Next weekend is July 4. For the last two summers, I’ve rented a kayak or an SUP and paddled downtown to watch the fireworks from the water. I’m sure many of you usually gather with family or friends to eat burgers and watch fireworks, too.
This year, I know there won’t be any paddle boarding, and I haven’t heard a word about fireworks, the live symphony or any gatherings (the legal limit is 100 right now).
In three weeks, I would’ve been traveling to Dallas to see Rascal Flatts on their farewell tour… which was entirely cancelled (don’t get me started).
It’s the would’ve beens of summer 2020.
We would’ve been there, would’ve been here, would’ve been everywhere…
Honestly, when we all entered self-isolation in March, I remember seeing memes about summer being cancelled… and I was thinking “no way.”
Well here we are!
Mostly, missing these concerts has been THE thing that’s made me the most sad. I’ve tried to make due with the Instagram Lives and the living room concerts, but they’re not cutting it.
I did buy some merch (which also benefitted charity) and that was fun. And I know, I know, that missing a concert or two is minor compared to what so many are going through right now.
But I also know we all have our would’ve beens. The summer trips, maybe a wedding, maybe a baby shower! I miss spending days by the pool — I’ve ordered an inflatable baby pool and am slathering on sunless tanner DAILY.
I’ve also been compulsively buying books in hopes of finding an adventure, an escape, somewhere in the pages.
The truth is, none of us know what the future holds. It may not just be summer that’s cancelled. We could be sharing our would’ve beens of fall and winter, too. It’ll be the would’ve beens of 2020.
I know there’s a silver lining to all of this, and we’ll all be able to get back to those would’ve beens at some point — although they may look much different.
Instead of concerts, I’m putting on records and making Spotify playlists. Instead of paddle boards and fireworks, I’m making veggie burgers and lighting sparklers. Instead of pool days, it’s patio days + a mister fan.
What are your would’ve beens of summer 2020?
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