It has been a few months since I’ve written a blog post and I spent the summer reflecting and quite honestly changing. A lot has happened: I took time to read and educate myself following the racial justice uprising around Black Lives Matter; I enrolled in graduate school; I ended my job and started a new one; I celebrated another year around the sun; and I’ve been developing new habits to care for my mental health, including cultivating an indoor plant collection.
Looking back on March when lockdown first began, I cannot recognize who I was. In the past 7 months, I’ve been trying to embrace slowing down and doing the inner work to tend to my personal needs and how I feel. There have been a lot of days where it’s been tough. Hell, yesterday I woke up and just felt depressed for no reason. There are so many great things happening in my life, why should I feel sad? But that’s the thing: it’s okay to feel sad or negative because the point is to acknowledge it and let it go to make space for feelings of joy and happiness. You can’t experience joy without sadness. Lately, I’ve been learning about sinking into gratitude and I’ve started journaling. It’s helped to put a lot into perspective and help me recognize the little moments to be grateful for.
When I was in high school, I had a best friend at the time who told me she was the exact same person that she was in elementary school. I remember thinking about how weird that was. How was it at 17 you were the same person you were at 11? Sure, you can like the same music and hold onto the same material possessions from those times, but to not feel that you have changed or shifted your mindset was odd to me, even at 17. I’ve learned that it’s okay to change. I’m no longer friends with that girl and quite frankly a lot of other people because I have changed over the years and did not feel they wanted to grow with me. And that’s okay. Throughout the summer, I reflected on what kind of friend I am and how I could be better about reaching out because friendships require hard work. I’d like to think that the friends I have now support my personal growth and we’re on a similar journey of self-improvement.
Just as summer has come and gone and the weather is now transitioning to fall, I too am reflecting on the changes I’ve made in the last few months. Even though 2020 has been a complete
shitshow of a year, it’s helped me grow in ways I never expected to. And for that, I am grateful for feeling all of it and being present.