Wednesday, July 4, 2018

my midyear thoughts

To those in the States, happy 4th! These couple months of rain and heat, while indicators that summer is in session, also mark a time of reflection and recovery-- midyear. I once read a book in which the main character decidedly refused to acknowledge or celebrate new year until the seasons had changed and spring had blossomed. I must've read that book seven or eight years ago-- I don't even remember the title-- but for some reason, that was something that always resonated with me. It certainly makes sense. There is little to be considered "new" about the new year. (My birthday falls the first week of the year, so on a personal note is does have that, however this is still beside the point.) The only thing that changes between December 31st and January 1st is the snow no longer falls with the suggestion of a potential white Christmas. You go from one gloomy winter day to another.

I preface, because I feel the need to explain how midyear could feel more like a fresh start than the new year. In 2018, it certainly did for me. And this is the inspiration for this blog post. I thought it appropriate that my first post on my new blog be a reflection on how things have changed, and how I hope they continue to change, as I embrace the season of renewal brought along by midyear.

r e f l e c t i o n 

The first six months of the year, in all honesty, were pretty rocky. Between reconstructing who and what I associated with, reassessing what I valued, and figuring out my morals as a person-- I went through quite the ordeal. However, on the other side, I can say I'm better for it. I've learned that you can't expect to always be happy-- and that's okay. Sometimes life throws some nasty things at you, but if you survive (and you always do) you come out stronger because of it. You can't live life as if it's a before and after picture. It's more like swimming on the surface of water. Sometimes you're holding your breath underneath, and sometimes you're inhaling fresh air up above. Being happy or unhappy isn't some permanent residence where you're stuck for eternity. Everything is so much more temporary than we realize. No-- I'm not immune to being sad or trapped in my own life, but I understand how to let things roll off me easier than in the past. And that's a good thing. 

I learned a lot about appreciating what I'm blessed enough to already have in my life. I understand the value in loving the people you have while you can and in living in the moment. Because really, this moment is all we're guaranteed. There's time to be sentimental, there's time to anticipate the future, but right now, all I have to do is live. Accepting change and being okay with knowing that euphoric feelings eventually go away are both things I've taken on these past six months. 

l o o k i n g  a h e a d

In the months to come I have goals in mind that I would like to stay true to. There are, of course, the simple (or seemingly so) ones, such as reading more and getting more sleep. I'd also like to make a point to stick to my schedules and stay organized and productive until it truly becomes a habit. And of course maintaining a blog during the school year is something I'd like to achieve. (As I do partially blame the increased coursework for the dying out of my blog circa 2017.) 

There are other things I'd like to make an effort to do as well, and these require more conscious effort on my part. I'd like to stop holding myself accountable for things I shouldn't be responsible for. I tend to stress over or take on the burden of things I'm under no obligation to deal with. If the only reason I feel like I must do something is because I've held myself to that standard, I need to relax. Ultimately, what makes me happiest will be what is better for me in the long run. This means recognizing the negative things in my life I've tuned out. Similarly, I'd like to continue the effort I've made to let go of things out of my control. Ever since I started working on keeping myself from freaking out about things I'm unable to change, I've noticed an improvement in my overall well-being. My happiness and contentment are no longer such fragile inconsistencies. I'm able to acknowledge upsetting things without allowing them to ruin my day or week or whatever in may be. Attitudes like these are things I'd like to implement in the rest of my year and, ultimately, my life.  

As far as what's to come, I can only say I'm a mix of fearful and excited. The second half of this year brings about the start of a new academic year-- potentially the most pivotal in one's primary educational career-- and while I'm beyond nervous about handling the stress, I'm looking forward to what it brings as well. 

The same can be said about clean sheets + potted plants. I can't wait to see where this road leads. 

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