With Every Beginning
As I type this, I sit impatiently - yet, very dreadfully - on my bed, waiting for my final high school schedule to be posted. That is perhaps one of the scariest sentences I have typed, and the year that follows ahead is going to be filled with a ton more. So, I decided to dedicate this summer to me, and it paid off for the most part.
The last stretch of junior year, all I could think of was the amount of days I was going to spend in bed and binge watching shows on Netflix during the summer. I couldn’t think of anything else but the fact that I’d be able to just lounge around, make up free, and stress free. That plan seemed unflawed and easy to perfectly execute until summer started and I realized that these two months were the span of my last real summer. They bookended the toughest school year I’ve had academically, and the start to the end of my final year in the K-12 school system in my town. I found myself conflicted between going on road trips and spending every single day seizing it with something adventurous, and to take this time to dive into who I am and where I want to go. What I decided to do was something I’m so glad I did, and it was simply to feed my heart with both.
With this summer being my first with a job that I found myself at 5 out of 7 nights off the week, I wanted to make sure that I had time for myself, and for my surroundings. I began writing much more than I used to, and letting my heart run through all forms of art I could get my hands on. During the school year, the free time I have in between work and school work is normally filled with extra curricular activities or napping, so I wanted to make the most of my artistic opportunities. Everywhere I went, whether it was the road trip up north to New Paltz, NY or a day spent at my local beach, I wanted to have the visuals to save with the memories. I took pictures of everything, and started a private photography journal to share them with myself in the future. For the days that I stayed behind and inside, I worked on me. I painted, I played guitar, I doodled, and practiced art, but more importantly, I thought. I thought about what truly makes me happy, and what I can eliminate from my life moving forward. I challenged myself. I saw what I truly needed, and what I could do without. I got a head start on senior year endeavors and college applications, and bought three planners. I cleaned up my path, and traveled forward with my head up high and clear.
And as my summer is coming to a close, and I’m quickly realizing that I have a lot more school work to finish than I had bargained my time for, I don’t regret not spending every second of the summer working. Moving into my senior year, I have to brace myself for changes upon changes. I currently have my college application 80% finished, sitting open in a tab, screaming confusion and arrows that point in every which direction. They stress me out to think about, but I’m not going to let myself sit and bury myself in it for days. Being able to find time for work and play and art and rest is a key to serenity. There is no need to feel guilty for doing something that makes you happy, and there is no need to worry about putting a bit more of yourself into the formulaic work you have yet to complete. With every end and every beginning and every last and every first, there will come changes and there will come continuity. Letting fear get in the way of the ride will only lead to dead ends. Learn what makes you happy, what makes you feel safe, and keep your foot on the gas.
Photo Credit: Steinar La Engeland