(Originally posted in August 2023)
Summer has been an entanglement of joy, uncertainty, and acceptance. Over the past three months, I’ve felt the plates between my old and new life take seismic shifts. “Hope” has been my justification for resisting the separation, but lately…
I don’t feel compelled to force them together anymore.
As Fall settles in, I’m also no longer beating myself up because I don’t.
I was talking to my grandma’s best friend last night. Her warm energy is matched with a lifetime of tales to share. As I expressed my thoughts, she softly responded, “You can’t try to keep everything tethered together forever. It’s okay to lean into where you’re at and what feels right at the current moment.” For a moment, my internal dialogue became defensive. Me? Being unable to maintain communication, long-distance friendships, meeting new people, emotional intelligence, work, and personal obligations, traveling constantly, building experiences in my new location, and my feelings? I CAN do everything. (Granted, I just saw Beyoncé, so I was feeling myself.)
However, as I listened more, my ego deflated, and I understood what she was saying.
She was right. No, I can’t be everywhere simultaneously (despite social media creating the illusion). Though I can always be where I want to be with intention. It begins with discovering where that is. It also starts with accepting that “everywhere” (i.e., locations, relationships, activities, etc.) impacts you differently. Maybe even differently than they used to…which is where I struggled deeply this summer.
Call me a daydreamer dripping with nostalgia, but I tend to romanticize life a bit too much. From my career to my social life, I dream big and want to do everything. The problem? Trying to do everything starts to become doing everything for the sake of doing it. Making choices out of obligation due to “having history.” Continuing to force things to be the same when they’re clearly not. Whether it’s your hairstyle or interests, all of those scenarios are rooted in the same issue and require two key questions.
What do YOU want right now in this moment?
And WHY do you want it?
I’ve been moving at full speed with FOMO as my fuel. Fear of missing out with disappointment, regret, and failure sprinkled in too. I’ve spent so much of this year spreading myself thin emotionally, financially, and physically because I was convinced it was necessary. From overcommitting to tolerating disrespect, I stayed positive and left many feelings unaddressed.
Summer 2023 cemented the lesson that my choices curate my reality. How good I feel about myself and my life is solely based on every action I take. The lesson was packaged in both exciting and painful ways, but it finally changed my behavior. So, instead of hoping you’ll somehow figure out how to balance 20 spinning plates, I hope you see…
- I hope you see you don’t have to tolerate situations that drain you.
- I hope you see your time is valuable, so spend it the way you want first and foremost.
- I hope you release guilt for saying no.
- I hope you stop drowning your mind in nostalgia and appreciate the present more.
- I hope you see things for what they are instead of through rose-colored glasses.
- I hope you stop sacrificing your well-being to dangerous points.
- I hope you see through the chaos and find confidence in distancing yourself.
- I hope you find the courage to take ownership of your shortcomings and work on them at your own pace.
- I hope you see your potential and believe in yourself more.
- I hope you stop waiting to be appreciated and celebrate yourself.
- I hope you stop diluting yourself to be palatable for people.
- I hope you surround yourself with people who you are enough for.
- I hope you push through the paralyzing anxiety and fear of change.
- I hope you see there is still time to live.
- I hope you see how fun it can be to put yourself out there to new people and experiences.
- I hope you see that you can honor who you were and continue to evolve into a new phase of yourself.
- I hope you slow down to assess if the direction of your life is moving the way you desire.
And I hope you find the strength and confidence to pivot if it isn’t.
In one way or another, I did every one of these things this summer, and I have zero regrets.
Sending love and light always,