For those of you who don’t know, I live in New Jersey. Central Jersey to be in fact, along the Jersey Shore. I grew up in a very small beach town (1 square mile) with the river on one side and the ocean on the other. The beach town where I’m from is, in fact, a very stereotypical beach town. As the seasons switch and the weather gets warmer, New Yorkers will come down to our beaches, clogging up Ocean Avenue (yes, that’s a real street) with traffic and taking up valuable spots on the beach with coolers or speakers or both.
But we wouldn’t have it any other way. The summer truly is my favorite time of the year and I think I speak for most of the people in the area when I say that. Especially people like my neighbor, who was shoveling snow in shorts and flip flops this past January. But this summer has actually taught me a lot about myself so I thought I’d make a little list.
- A little alone time somewhere serene is a good thing. I am someone who definitely hates being alone. I’m an extrovert through and through. However, the other day I was stressed out for a few reasons and found myself grabbing my sneakers and going on a hike. I used to LOVE hiking but haven’t gone in so long. Sometimes unplugging is the best thing anyone can do.
- Your friends can be your soulmates, too. As I’ve been going through a sort of on-again, off-again breakup situation with the same guy (if it sounds complicated, it’s because it is) I was telling my cousin how I look for his personality in every new guy I meet. She reminded me that I made so many friends this summer who I love and laugh with. All of their personalities combined surely surpassed the person who had me sad at the moment but I hadn’t looked at it that way.
- Be a little kid once in a while. For my 24th birthday, we were all set to go to 6 Flags but last minute the rain had other plans and I decided to make everyone go laser tagging instead. I don’t even know why but it ended up being one of the best days of the summer. Run through the sprinklers. Dive head first into the cold ocean. Be childish sometimes and it’ll feel really good.
- Never underestimate your talent. This one is important. I have been at the same job for 2 years. I love it but with nowhere to move forward in my company, I felt somewhat stuck. A company in NYC that I absolutely adore and have for years reached out to me and ultimately said they wanted me to be their Video Producer. They even found my instagram for my blog and said they loved my style. I was surprised that little old me had that potential and power and to be honest, I am proud of myself.
- It’s never too late to start over. People, as they get older, have this idea in their minds that they have to have it all figured out. But everyone knows that this is an impossible task. Just a year ago, I was dating someone else, living somewhere else, and couldn’t have imagined that I’d be starting this new job. I had been moving forward and for a while, I thought the new, ever-changing zig zag pattern of my life meant that I was somehow failing. But I see it all now as new opportunities and new ways to move forward in a different direction.
- Trust your gut. This is a big thing I’ve learned over the course of the past few months. When it comes to friends or significant others, if you feel like people aren’t being sincere or aren’t as trusting or genuine as you, it is okay to cut them out of your life. I think this is especially important when it comes to dating. If you keep getting the feeling that they aren’t right for you or that they’re rude or inconsiderate, then you’re probably right.
- Appreciate your surroundings. I was driving to work the other day, on the same busy parkway I always drive on and I saw a beautiful valley filled with the greenest trees along the water. I had probably seen it hundreds of times but never noticed its beauty. I thought about how many people all over the world might look at my mundane drive to work or my small beach town and think it was too beautiful for words. And it is so beautiful and I want to appreciate it more.