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6 Lessons I Learned in Summer ’16

Today I had every intention to start my new Eating My Way Through Ponce City Market segment (don’t worry, it’s coming soon), but when I sat down at my desk and started typing, I couldn’t stop thinking about what my summer has been like. To be completely honest, this summer hasn’t been all that great. While I would love to be able to tell you that summer ’16 was amazing, besides quite a few really great trips, it was not the summer that I hoped it would be. While summer ’16 was not the best summer of my life, it was life changing. It was full of stress, uncertainty, and anxiety and on some days, I could barely see the light at the end of the tunnel. I am a firm believer that you have to grow through what you go through and I can say that I grew this summer. Now that Labor Day Weekend is in the books and fall is only a few weeks away, I’m ready to begin the new chapter that comes with every new season. At the same time, I think that it’s important that we reflect so that we can apply what life has taught us as we move forward, so I’m sharing the 6 lessons I’ve learned in summer ’16:

This summer hasn't been all that great, but I believe we have to grow through what we go through. There's lessons to take away from everything we go through, and I'm sharing the 6 lessons I learned this summer on

6 Lessons I Learned in Summer ’16

Planning is great, but sometimes, life will throw all your plans out the window

I’ve said it once, and I’ll probably say it 1000 times – I’m a planner. I think it’s the virgo in me that appreciates structure an order. I plan my meals, my outfits, my weeks, my vacations, and if I could, I would start planning the next 5 years of my life right now (but I’m not irrational, so I won’t). I love to make plans, but being able to do so requires a certain amount of certainty about the future. This summer was full of uncertainty and I learned that you really do just have to control what you can control and have faith about the rest. On more than one occasion this summer, things didn’t go as planned, and I learned to accept that in the lifestyle that my husband and I live, that will happen, and life will go on.

If you show up for people, they’ll show up for you

I’m not the only one who’s had a somewhat rough summer. For whatever reason, this year has been a rocky one for a lot of people that I know. This summer it became evident to me that if you show up for people, they’ll show up for you. On top of that, I learned to be vulnerable with people and let them show up. A few of my friends have faced trials and tribulations in the past couple of months and I was there for them. When I had my own issues and needed them, they came running without a second thought. Some, like my best friend who came into town for my birthday, literally showed up and others did so figuratively by calling and texting to check in on me. Friendship is a two way street and if you do for people, they’ll do for you too.

Experiences are worth more than things

I feel like I’ve said this quite a few times in quite a few different blog posts this summer, so it’s clear that it’s a lesson that has really stuck with me. When I returned from Japan in May and looked around my closet and through my drawers, I felt extremely overwhelmed. During our 7 months in Chiba, I adopted somewhat of a minimalistic way of living and seeing all the stuff we have here in Atlanta threw me for a complete loop. I used to be a girl who loved things and I’ve grown to a place where I really could care less. Not to say that I’ll never want another bag or another pair of shoes again, but I value experiences (like trips) far more than I do material things at this point in my life. I’ve felt extremely cluttered all summer long and I’ve learned that less really is more.

Be present. Moments pass in an instant

As a planner, sometimes I find myself so intent on looking to the future that I’m not actually living in the present. On top of that, as a blogger, I try my best to capture moments so that I can share them here and I find that I’m not really enjoying the moments for myself. On more than one occasion this summer, I was so focussed on planning or blogging about something that I totally took the moment for granted. My husband and I are spending basketball season apart for the first time ever, and now, when I look back on his off season, I wish that I had been more present and taken advantage of our quality time. One major lesson that I’ve learned this summer is that if you don’t live in the moment, you’re not living at all. Sometimes, we all need to unplug.

A bad situation does not equal a bad life

How many times have you let one bad occurrence ruin your whole day? I know I have. More times than once over the summer I’ve found myself being a total drama queen. One bad thing would happen and I would say to myself “everything is a total mess.” Catastrophizing is a term we use in the counseling field for these thoughts because, the fact of the matter is, although one thing might be a mess, everything else usually isn’t. One bad situation or occurrence does not mean that your whole life is bad. This summer I learned to stop catastrophizing and start being realistic in my thinking. Our thoughts control our emotions so getting rid of faulty thought patterns really does go a long way.

Life is a marathon, not a sprint. Enjoy the journey

I’m a “I want it all and I want it now” type of gal. Patience is something that I really struggle with, but life is a marathon, not a sprint. This summer, I found myself looking at where my husband and I are in life and I feeling like we should be doing bigger or better things. What I didn’t consider is that we are only 26 years old and have a lot of life left to live. We’ve learned a lot and have a lot more to learn when it comes to our respective careers, our foundation, and even our marriage. Now I realize that it’s not all about the final destination but also about the route that we take to get there. It’s important to stop and smell the roses and enjoy life’s journey because the best things take time.

What lessons have you learned in summer ’16?

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