Summer holds a certain kind of possibility in it. A bit of a haze that hangs above us, like something good might happen at any moment. Summer is a time to feel free and light, a time to let down your guard and embrace the freedom. And when Fall approaches, a different mood takes over. A feeling of calm, a feeling of peace. A feeling of reflection and of newness. A feeling of endings, but also a yearning for new beginnings. A feeling of wanting to start fresh, and wanting to make the end of the year memorable. A time to write a cozier, kinder story.
So take this time to begin again. Take this time to find newness and fresh starts in the next few months. Take this time to feel encouraged and inspired. Seek fulfillment for both your heart and your mind.
In the last four months of the year, remember:
1. It’s okay if you wore your heart on your sleeve this year. Whether it led to love or it led to heartbreak, or something somewhere in between, you were immensely brave for putting your heart on the line like that. It takes courage to allow others to see your heart, and to admit that you wish to share your heart with someone. It takes a special kind of person to be able to be vulnerable in the face of uncertainty. You were so strong for believing in love, even when you didn’t know if the love would be returned. You were so brave for having faith in possibility, rather than waiting and waiting to see if the person you loved would tell you that he loved you back. You were courageous for opening up in a world that can sometimes be closed off and silent. Please continue to do this. Continue to share your heart with the world. Continue to be raw and open and tell people when you love them. Even if they aren’t ready to share their heart with you, you still have nothing to lose. For telling someone you love them is never wrong..love is never wrong.
2. Even if this year has been quiet, you have still grown. Even if this year has felt like a blur of only small peaks and no mountains, you have still moved forward. Even if you can’t think of any moments that stand out for you as remarkable, you have still grown more than you probably think you have. Sometimes growth is quiet and subtle, and doesn’t look quite as profound as you may have imagined. Sometimes growth is simply looking at a situation from a new perspective. It’s trying something new, despite whether or not it ends up being a good experience. Sometimes growth is just continuing to move forward when uncertainty is trying to hold you back. And sometimes growth just means making it through each day, and noticing one small good thing about the world each night before you fall asleep. The truth is, some seasons are for succeeding and taking leaps and bounds forward towards your dreams, while other seasons are simply for surviving. They are for just being. And these seasons are just as successful. Because in the being, you are becoming.
3. Make sure you have days when you don’t have to be so strong. Make sure you have moments when you let your hair down and you simply take everything in, without the pressure of the world weighing down on your shoulders. Make sure that sometimes, when you feel down and overwhelmed, that you allow yourself to take a nap. Make sure that some days you don’t worry so much about whether or not your hair or make-up looks perfect, and you just let yourself be. Make sure you have moments when you can let down all of your walls, stand underneath the moon, and let the night sky envelop you. Make sure you take car rides to nowhere, with no pressure or no expectations, just you and the radio, moving swiftly through the back roads. Make sure you take time to realize that life is lighter than you think it is. That your mind is what is making it so heavy. And when life does feel heavy, make sure you don’t force yourself to face it all on your own. Make sure you have people you can lean on, people you can cry big ugly tears in front of. Make sure you let others embrace you in warm supportive hugs, and let them carry some of your weight.
4. Even if you want to change, you can still honor who you are now. You can have goals and aspirations that you want to reach without having to feel bad about where you are now. Once upon a time, your goal was to be who you are now. You should feel proud about where you are, even if you do wish to change. Liking yourself exactly as you are and at the same time wanting to grow and change do not have to be mutually exclusive. Respect where you are right now. Allow yourself to appreciate who you are right now, rather than getting swept up in all of the goals that you have not yet reached. Honor who you are, and honor who you wish to be.
5. Stop apologizing for who you are. Stop apologizing for laughing at the “wrong” jokes or saying the “wrong” things. Stop apologizing for how you dress or how you spend your time. Stop apologizing for being too quiet or too loud. Stop apologizing for who you love, or how you show your love. You are who you are, and you should never have to apologize for being yourself. You should never have to bend to fit in. The right people will love you. I promise. Your people are out there. And never feel like you have to give up a piece of yourself to fit in. You deserve to be treated right without having to change who you are. You deserve to be loved for being exactly who you are. There is nothing wrong with you. So please, stop apologizing.
6. Sometimes feeling stuck is the precursor to starting over again. Sometimes feeling lost or uncertain, or completely overwhelmed, is actually a sign that you are going to reset and start again. It is a sign that soon you will walk down a different path. Sometimes you need this period of uncertainty to allow your brain to recalibrate so that it is ready to start moving in a new and better direction. Sometimes you need to hit a wall in order to have the motivation to search for a new door. Feeling stuck means you have infinite directions you can choose to go. So don’t be so afraid of feeling stuck.or of feeling lost. You will find your way again. I’m certain. Just give it time, and stay curious. Seek out new information. Seek out new experiences. Try things that you never thought you would be inerested in. And allow yourself the space to figure out which direction your soul wishes to go.
7. It’s okay if you didn’t reach the goals you had for this year yet. Sometimes the goals you set are not necessarily the goals that end up lifting you higher. Sometimes life takes hold of you and leads you in a different direction, and you just have to have faith in the reroute. You have to trust life and you have to trust yourself. Maybe you haven’t reached the goals you wanted to, but you most certainly have reached other goals. You most certainly had other accomplishments and other moments that lit you up. Be proud of yourself for all of the accomplishments you did reach, no matter how big or small, and decide if your original goals are still goals that you still want to pursue. And if they are still goals that will bring light to your life, know that you are not on a timeline, and that you can move in the direction of your goals as slowly or as quickly as you see fit. If these goals no longer serve you, it’s okay to release them. It’s not a sign of failure. It’s not quitting. It’s just adjusting to what life has in store for you.
8. Please be easier with yourself. Remember all of the times when you never thought you would make it through. Remember all of the times you thought your heart was broken in two and you didn’t think you would ever feel okay again. Remember all of the times when you cried because you didn’t think life would get better, and then it was okay again. Here you are. You’re surviving. You’ve made it through all of these moments. You’re doing your very best to figure out how to be okay. You’re doing all that you can to make your life beautiful, even when it hurts, and even when it feels far from perfect. Even when you are broken. You’re still here. You still haven’t given up on hoping things will be okay again. Even if you think you have given up, I know that there’s a little part of you, deep down within you, that is still seeking to be okay. So please, give yourself some grace. Look at all the progress you have made. Look at how much you have grown. Look at who you are becoming. You are far too hard on yourself. Tread softly. Know that you are doing the best that you can.
9. When you are feeling down, remind yourself of the days when life felt good. The truth is, some days you’ll be on top of the world , and other days you’ll carry the heavy load of the weight of the world upon your shoulders. And you can’t always pick and choose which kind of day you have. You can’t force a good day, just as you can’t always avoid a hard day. But on the hard days, I do know that it helps to remember the good days. To remember that yesterday, or last week, or last month, you were feeling pretty good. It does help to remember some of the things you are thankful for, even if today you don’t feel in the mood for being thankful. And don’t worry. Hope will return to you. Love will return to you. Your laugh will return to you. Your glow will return to you. The sparkle in your eyes will return to you. Just know that you will have good days again. Probably sooner than you think.
10. In the last few months of the year, believe in goodness. Life can be really good to you. And then it can be terrible. But most of the time, it will return to being good to you again. For the majority of the time, for each action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. After the bad comes the good. After the hurt comes the miracle. And after the pain, comes the magic. Sometimes you have to be pulled very far backwards so that you can accelerate forwards. Sometimes you need to experience the lows in order to experience the highs. Sometimes you need to know what pain feels like so that you can fully enjoy love and happiness and relief. And sometimes, you will need to climb the mountain in order to see the breathtaking view from the top. When life is really hard, and when you feel as though you can’t move forward, know that you are being pulled backwards. Know that you are gaining the momentum to spring forward. Know that the low will soon be accompanied by a high. And then, life will inevitably be good for you again.