summer of lessons

Tomorrow, I officially start my senior year. In elementary and middle school, I would always dream about how my life would be in high school. What I would be doing, who my friends would be, what I would look like. It all seemed like such a distant fantasy back then. Yet, here I am. It seems to have happened in the blink of an eye. Summer ends tonight, and although I didn’t have a whole lot of fun this summer, I did something even better-I changed.

This summer I went through many experiences and learned many valuable lessons. I learned to not spend unnecessary time focusing on the negative things in my past. These things do not matter anymore! By giving too much attention to things that should no longer have a hold on your life, you are affecting your future decisions and even relationships with others. If you live your life this way, it is impossible to be happy. For so long, I have struggled with negativity. For some reason, nothing ever made me happy. Although I still have to fight for happiness, I know I have made progress and am on the right path now. I realized I was caring too much about things that didn’t have a place in my life any longer. I let it go and a huge weight was lifted from my shoulders.

I learned that you do not have to do what other people, or what society, is telling you to do. Constantly, on social media, we have posts screaming at us to only live for ourselves. Of course, personal health should always be a priority, but what about JOY? That little phrase we learn at school or church that simply states the order of who to put first in your life: Jesus, Others, Yourself? I have learned that if something or someone is valuable in your life, although you don’t agree with their choices, keep them. Help others.  If a relationship is becoming complicated, don’t just give it up. Help them grow. Help each other grow. Be there for people. Don’t give in to something you know in your heart you do not want to do. Someone very wise once told me, “Sometimes doing what is best for you isn’t the right thing to do.” We need to learn to be more selfless in a world that’s training us to stop listening to our hearts and minds. Society is reshaping the way we think and feel and it’s time to fight back and revert to the simplest of teachings-JOY.

The last, and most important thing I learned this summer, is to never take people for granted. I don’t mean to be morbid, but everyday people are being taken from this world. Even people in my community. Appreciate the love other people have for you and love them to the fullest. Always spend time with Christ. Don’t shut people out who only care about you and want to help you. Be kind. You never know when your last moments with the people around you will be.

I am filled with regrets that some of the reasons I learned these things were because I made mistakes-ones that could have been entirely avoided. Either way, I know I am in this place in my life because God wants me to be here. He wants me to grow and to become a better person. Goodnight everyone, and for those that start school in the morning, have a good day (:

Savannah

selfish

Have you ever had something so great, but ruin it because things don’t go exactly your way? Well, this is what often happens to me. I will be blessed with something new and exciting coming into my life, but try to control every aspect of it. I grow continuously unhappy that the conditions are not fine-tuned to my liking.  I pretend that my actions don’t affect others and that the other person or thing involved is the one in the wrong. This is an awful and detrimental mindset to have, and I have been struggling with it for years-more so in high school. I have talked about my fear of change and the unknown in a previous post. I don’t like things that are out of my control, things I can’t change. So this leads me to bend everything to my will, so I can have everything just so. But this doesn’t work in reality, because life involves consequences. Life is a series of cause and effect. You can’t make a decision or an action without something following it up.

Recently, I messed up. This was when I realized I had turned into something I refused to acknowledge-a selfish monster. Time and time again, I do certain things that I know I would never be okay with if I was on the other end. I try to tell myself everything is fine and that it’s going to be okay, when in reality I’m hurting inside. I treat others this awful way to build myself up. Instead of clinging to this selfishness, I need to turn to God. I need to trust His way and His plan. I need to let go and let him enter my heart and soul and guide me through my actions. I am asking Him to cleanse me of my wrongdoings and let me begin again as His daughter. I want to ask for His forgiveness and everyone else’s that I have harmed while I was up in my head.

Savannah

home

One of my favorite songs, “Home” by Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros, contains a lyric I have always loved-“Home is wherever I’m with you.” Another quote I have come across involving the home is from the novel Love, Rosie-“I’ve learned that home isn’t a place, it’s a feeling.”

Your typical home is the place that you live and build your life on. Mine, for instance, would be Augusta, Georgia. I was born and raised here with my loving and awesome family. Nearly all of my fondest memories have taken place in this town. My home in the most extensive sense is laughing with my friends, a good song, a sunset, dinners with my family, being at the beach and seeing the massive ocean, the view outside of a travelling car window, looking up at a night sky full of stars…

It’s all of these things and more. One day, when I leave my house and family to be on my own, my heart will always carry these various little “homes” with me. I can look at the beautiful sunset and be reminded of my wonderful home God blessed me with and thank Him for putting little pieces of home all around so I can feel it anywhere I may travel.

 

 

 

risk taking

Confidence is something I have always wished I could easily acquire. I admire people who live a fearless life-those who live without fear of judgement, fear of consequences, etc. But, that’s just not who I am. I am afraid of taking risks and ‘living on the edge.’ While incessantly engaging in risky business of course isn’t the best choice of lifestyle, sometimes risks are necessary for life. I am an extremely indecisive person and often when I am faced with a serious decision, I shut down. I ignore all of the issues because I am afraid of the risk factor and what it involves. At times it seems as if the threat of choosing the wrong decision overrides anything else. We allow our fears to poison our minds and affect our decision making. We cannot let our own self-made poison destroy our abilities. We have to follow our hearts and tackle the challenges before us-because life is a tough series of risks that we have to pummel our way through, one way or the other.

change

After my trip at Edisto Island had come to a close post-Memorial Day weekend, I recalled the time I had spent with my friends.  My senior year at Aquinas is coming up fast and I was startled to realize how much time I was losing-with them and with everyone else. Most of the kids I hung out with have graduated, and although we aren’t all close, it would be one of the last carefree moments I would have with each of them. By this time next year, we will both have so much more on our plates. Once I start senior year, they will have gone off to college to start a new chapter in their lives. I realized I would be parting ways with my closer girl friends as well. This hit me hard and I struggled to comprehend the inevitable-change.

When you’re in high school, it seems as if the only objective is to simply get out. What I don’t think most of us understand is that it is the last four final years of being a kid. We are all rushing to live on our own and become independent. Once college starts, it is finally time to start growing up and becoming an adult. I personally am terrified of change. I hate thinking about what is to come because I am a notorious over thinker. All it does is stress me out. What I fail to understand is that change is necessary to grow as a human. Without change, everyone would live in a static state, where there is no room to grow and learn. Although I still have time to be a kid, I struggle to grasp how much time has flown by and before I know it, I’ll be in college. I will be an adult. All I ask is that God guide me and my friends through our senior and freshman years in college. I ask Him that He help me understand and accept change for what it is. I will cherish the remaining time I have left with my people and let no moment go to waste any longer. We all need to appreciate life and the people around us a little bit more each day (:

Savannah