There is something about summers in New York. I can’t explain the feeling but it’s just liberating. Each year, there has been some kind of life lesson or personal growth that took place in my life during the summer months. I am inspired to become a better version of myself for the latter part of the year and give life my best foot forward. One of the things I enjoy doing and have been doing every year since I graduated is creating a list of things that I want to do over the summer. It could be something dealing with the arts like exploring a new exhibit, writing more or wearing my hair natural. Whatever it might be, I always try to hold myself accountable to achieve my goals:
When I first graduated from Penn State in 2011, I was lost. I didn’t have the slightest clue where I was going to work in the fall. I had no money and no insight into my future. But those things did not take the fun out of my life. I was shockingly content with finding myself. I let go and let God take control and I allowed myself to live a little. Just getting out of a bad pseudo-relationship, I spent the summer rebuilding my self-esteem, writing, and spending hours on Youtube learning everything there was to know about the big chop and being natural(It would take 2-years before I actually wore my hair natural in public). I even started an earrings business.
I was having a rough time at work but I spent a large part of my summer traveling. I remember going to Miami for the Fourth of July and having the time of my life. A few weeks later I visited Jamaica and realized I had outgrown family vacations. I was growing up and learning what I liked and what I didn’t like. I was trying to adjust to life, as I knew it. I lost some important relationships that were pretty hard for me to let go but in hindsight it was necessary.
If I could describe summer 2013 in one word, I would say FREEDOM. One hot day in June I was sick of wearing my wig. I snatched that thing off and wore my hair natural for the first time since I was a kid. That summer, I was officially a naturalista. What made that summer more fun was my discoveries of all of the wonderful things happening in Brooklyn. I finally had bars that I frequented and found the crowd of funky millennial hipsters that I wanted to party with. It was the perfect summer and probably my favorite to date.
The summer of 2014 went by pretty fast. I don’t remember doing much besides working my tail off. I was mad that a lot of the events that I discovered a year before were now known to the masses and no longer exclusive. I traveled a little for my friend’s wedding in the Bahamas. I also met my boyfriend at what was supposed to be the party of the year, The Greatest Day Ever! It ended up being one of the best and worst days of my life.
Now, for this year, I plan on having a phenomenal summer. I have new insights on life. I’ve been through so much this year and I am optimistic about what this summer has to offer me. I created a 2015 summer bucket list of all the things I want to do and an oath to myself of all the things I will not allow myself to do, sounds bizarre? Don’t worry, I do this every year. One of the things I wholeheartedly believe in is living an unapologetic life. If we only get one life to live, why should we live it miserably or according to how other people think we should live it? I love tapping into new things and meeting new people:
2015 Summer Bucket List
The theme of this summer is freedom and self-exploration
- Spirituality: Read Ruth and Ecclesiastes (by June 30) in the bible. Also, read the book of Job (rest of the summer)
- Something I’ve never done before: Take a cooking class (Via Groupon or Living Social) and Sewing Class on Franklin Avenue
- Adventure: Indoor Rock Climbing
- Summer Reading: Read a book I’ve been wanting to read
- Something Art or Cultural: New Exhibit
- Brooklyn Flea: Visit Brooklyn Flea in Fort Greene, Brooklyn
- Start my Book Club: Introverts in the City (w. Myllz)
- Meet Someone New: Find a way to meet a new friend
- Something I’ve been meaning to do: Start and complete my travel photo album
- Have Self-Control:
- What’s my Passion?: Find a new hobby…maybe photography
- Create Something: Create my own version of contemporary art
What I won’t do this summer
1.) I will not take steps backward with men
2.) I will leave I can’t and I won’t out of my vocabulary
3.) I will not drink alcohol to have fun, happiness should come from within
4.) I will not let anyone tell me I should wear my hair straight this summer
5.) I will not be stressed this summer
6.) I will not be afraid to be myself and be different
I want to take this time to encourage you to do the same thing. Use my list as a template for your own goals. I also want to say that if you don’t get everything done this summer, so what? I’ve learned that all things happen in its own time. No worries, be happy!