The end of summer is always so bittersweet. The sun begins to shift its position in the sky and familiar shadows start to change. The temperature at night becomes cool and crisp. Acorns start to fall one by one. And of course for many there is that dreaded, excited feeling we call “back to school”.
Autumn is my favorite season. I love the food, the holidays, and the coziness of it all. I also love the feeling of transition it brings. This transitional pull I feel in Autumn always inspires me to make necessary changes in my life in order to become the happier, healthier, better version of myself.
To become better in the future, I have to reflect on what I’ve learned this past season. So without further ado here are some things I’ve learned this past summer.
Be confident // Summer 2017 started off with a bang when I got a new job. Because of the type of environment I work in, there is a lot of pressure to make zero mistakes. Being a human and not a robot makes this experience very stressful and at times overwhelming. Of course I’m going to make mistakes! The first month was really difficult for me and I experienced a drop in my confidence. At my last job I had run an entire customer service department by myself, and now as an assistant I was being made to feel like I was dumb or not good enough. At some point after talking to close friends and family, I realized that other people’s perceptions of me do not matter. I learned that having confidence in myself actually makes me a better employee. I started going into work everyday determined to do my best even in the face of adversity. After I let go of caring what people thought of me and my abilities, I became more sure of myself and my talents. This allowed me to get out of my comfort zone and actually do a better job in the long-run. Be confident in yourself and your capabilities. Other people’s perceptions of you do not define you.
Social anxiety sucks // Yes, that’s right. Positive Patty over here is saying something sucks. Up until recently I was in complete denial that I even had social anxiety, and once I admitted it to myself it almost seemed like it had gotten worse. This summer truly challenged my social anxiety in more ways than one and made me realize what an issue it is. Being an introvert that values alone time is one thing but feeling knots in your stomach, or not being able to follow through with plans because of it, is when it really starts to affect your life. This summer I had some strong moments where I pushed through, and other times where I simply couldn’t do it. I have to say that the times I pushed through turned out great. I had a great time and felt good about myself. The times where I made excuses felt good in the moment but crappy later on. Social anxiety is something I’m more aware of now, and something I’m very determined to work on in a healthy, manageable way.
Get into nature as much as possible // This summer I started taking walks three times a week at a local trail, and I realized getting into nature makes me really happy. I also learned that walking has been proven to be the only physical activity which actually lowers cortisol levels (that pesky stress hormone). Getting outside makes you feel grounded, clears your head and allows you to remember that you and your problems are much smaller than this big world. And no matter how much we feel the world is ending, the sun will still rise every morning and set every evening. Life will go on.
Accept your body for what it is // At some point or another we all have to accept our bodies for what they are. Getting healthy and being fit are great and I think having goals for your body (as long as they’re realistic) is perfectly fine. But don’t let your current unhappiness with your body ruin a good time or an experience. This summer I had many moments (like I do every summer) where I felt uncomfortable in my own skin, and I let it affect how much I enjoyed certain summer activities, like jet-skiing, because I was too worried about what I looked like. Don’t let insecurities that are probably not even noticeable to anyone else get you down. Your body is doing some pretty amazing things to keep you alive and thriving at all times. And it will continue to do so whether you have stretch marks or not. Appreciate your body for all that it is instead of hating it for what’s it’s not.
Accept your family for who they are and cherish them// My family is large and mostly female. These are women with strong opinions and very different personalities. My oldest sister, Nikki came to visit for a week this summer from Denver and even though the house was chaos when we were all together, it brought such a feeling of comfort to have all four sisters together. We also threw a big family party and it made me realize what an eclectic mix of people I have in my life. I was never sheltered as a kid, and I was raised around many different walks of life. I gained such an appreciation for every single person that day because it made me realize why I’m such an open-minded person. Love and cherish your family for all the crazy, wonderful people that they are.
Well that’s it. Summer is coming to its end and to be honest I’m struggling with where my life is right now. But I’m an optimist and life is moving in a new direction. My experiences both good and bad will now be lessons learned. I’m excited for what’s to come (and it’s not just because of fuzzy sock season). I hope you all had an amazing summer and I would love to know what you’ve learned down below.
As always thank you for reading. Farewell sweet Summer!