Long time no see, my friends. I took a bit of a (longer than expected) hiatus from writing this summer. Despite all of the adventures I’ve had over the past three months, I’ve had an intense case of writers block, and have been unable properly articulate all of the amazing experiences I’ve had. But as of late, I’ve decided to give myself a good kick in the shorts and force myself to write again. I spent three weeks in Europe, and lost my NYC virginity this summer. I also took an online math class *huge eye roll*, and worked a lot, but who wants to read about math and receptionist life? Reflecting back on it now, I think this summer was the last stop of the soul searching Tour de Greta. So naturally, here are a few things that I’ve learned along the way, in the last 3 of 7 short months of learning how to be myself, and love myself!
#1- Let yourself feel. By that I mean, no matter what emotion it is, you need to let yourself feel it. You shouldn’t try to not feel an emotion because it’s undesirable at the time. When I was having a really low day, there would be good things that would happen, and I’d feel guilty for it. I would feel like I wasn’t allowed to be happy, because I had been feeling so sad. And on the other end of that, a rush of sadness would come when I felt happier than ever, I would try to block that out, and not feel that either. Don’t repress your emotions, let yourself feel.
#2- Summers aren’t for staying out late and sleeping in anymore. Carefree and work-free summers I used to have are very much over, and the grind really never stops. Between working, traveling, taking summer class, Her Campus, going to the gym, and trying to maintain a bit of a social life, this summer was nonstop go, go, go! I love everything that I do though, so I really can’t complain about being busy. Adult-ing can be sort of fun I guess?
#3- If the path be beautiful, let us not question where it leads. I used to spend so much of my time wrapped up in the “what-if’s” of the world, wondering why this-or-that was happening or not happening, and how it could end up. This summer, I learned that I don’t need to know the outcome of every situation. I learned to let go of needing to know, and needing to be in control. If you’re happy, just go with it. Plain and simple.
#4- Get out of your element. The time I spent traveling this summer were times of great self-reflection. Being taken out of your normalcy is fascinating. Trying to navigate my way through the London Underground system with only a pocket map was thrilling, terrifying, and freeing! Find yourself on the streets of Venice, or at the Piccadilly Circus tube stop. Travel when you can, while you’re young, and when you still have some soul searching to do. Get out there and search.
#5- Lifting up and putting down heavy things makes you feel super f*cking awesome. I’ve been in sports since before I can remember, until I quit volleyball. Since then, I’ve been trying to find my groove in the gym. Whether it be yoga, running, zumba, kickboxing, casual lifting, I tried to stay active. I really liked all of this things, but nothing gave me the same adrenaline rush that being on the court did. This summer I got into a consistent routine of weightlifting, on a real program, and I can so happily say I feel alive in the gym again. Being able to push myself, become physically stronger, and see myself improve is such a natural high for me, I’m addicted.
#6- Resistance is not a bad thing. On a note related to my recent endeavors in weightlifting, I learned that having resistance makes you stronger. Both metaphorically and literally. I have learned that I am capable of transforming all of my weaknesses to strengths. I am able to put myself under a heavy load, and I will grow strong enough to move that load with ease. Being able to grow everyday in the gym has only further confirmed that I am strong, in every part of my life.
#7- I am my own Wonder Woman. Lastly, the most important thing I learned this summer was that I don’t need anyone to fix me. I don’t need anyone to put back together the pieces that fell apart. I did it all myself, and I can do it again if I have to. I don’t need someone else to be my superhero, I can do that for myself. I have the strength of the Lord within me, and that’s all I need.
This summer was my best yet. I worked my ass off, formed new friendships, went to four European countries, grew even closer to ones I was already close with, and became more and more of myself. I feel refreshed, and ready to take on another year of getting cursed at by middle-aged white women who need to get their hair done 3 weeks ago, having scissors thrown at me by 6 year olds, and receiving (hopefully) less parking tickets. Thanks to those who made it so amazing, you know who you are.