As I pack up all my things to move back to college, it seems as if summer is officially coming to a close. It's bittersweet. I am so excited to be back at school but sad to leave behind so many wonderful memories.
But more than anything, I feel empowered.
I feel motivated.
I feel inspired.
This summer really put me through the emotional ringer. If I'm being completely honest, I didn't quite feel like myself for most of the summer. My days weren't very structured, so I spent a lot of time at home doing nothing. It left me a lot of time alone with my mind and that can either go wonderfully or terribly.
A lot of the time, it went terribly. I would worry about everything, stress over the tiniest things and just be lonely. This wasn't out of the ordinary for me. I've always had a tendency to overwork myself or get fixated on things that were out of my control.
But this summer, something changed.
This summer, I chose to focus on the things that I could control.
This summer, I chose to take a break when I felt stressed.
This summer, I reached out to my friends when I felt lonely.
This summer, I made peace with my mind.
Don't get me wrong, I still worry and get stressed and feel lonely sometimes — that's never going to change — but now, I have a better understanding of myself and how I deal with feelings like that. That is the first step.
This summer taught me to take all the thoughts that are racing through my head and express them. I found myself more inspired to create art as a result of this. I found myself more invested in my relationships because of this. I found myself more motivated to take good care of myself because of this.
So, as I prepare myself to go back to school for sophomore year, I want to remind myself to feel how I do right now. I want to embrace the darker moments because they are what make me who I am. I want to love those moments without getting consumed by them. I want to use those moments to fuel my art.
Summer 2019, you were kind to me in ways I was not expecting. You taught me that there is as much strength in solitude as there is in togetherness. You taught me concentration and being present in every moment.
Do not worry about the future because it has not happened yet and do not worry about the past because it already has. Focus on the present because it is happening right now. If you need to take a moment to breathe, do it. If you need to talk to someone, do it.
So I'm thankful for the summer, but most importantly I'm thankful for myself for learning these lessons. Thank you for your unruly mind and your tender heart. Thank you for your creative hand and your adventurous spirit. Thank you for the good and the bad.
And finally, thank you for you.